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UBT: “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life”

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Well, I hope you enjoyed your background reading yesterday, CN, and can properly focus your minds on some new David Brooks bullshit. (Or have at least bought the missing gravy boat on his wedding registry.)

What? Two days of David Brooks? Look, if you think you feel bad, imagine how the Universal Bullshit translator feels, slumped in a corner, smelling of burnt toast and regret. It still has PTSD from that NYT op-ed and now there’s a book tour of THE SECOND MOUNTAIN (swell the violins!) THE QUEST FOR A MORAL LIFE (trumpet timpani!)

CBS did this puff piece, Monday. You’re welcome.

***

New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks is on a mission to help people live deeper and more joyful lives.

Except for his ex-wife, Sarah, who can cleave to his memory, with dignity and zero disparagement as outlined in the terms of his New York Times op-ed. He has also left a humble allowance for her shrine maintenance, where she can craft a small David Brooks out of tinfoil and bring him offerings. Jellybeans, The Confessions of St. Augustine, loose change.

All offerings will be found unacceptable. He has a new research assistant.

In his new book, “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life,” Brooks writes that living to satisfy relationships rather than one’s own ego fills people’s lives with “wonder, gratitude and hope.”

David Brooks is filled with wonder, gratitude, and hope that his much younger research assistant will fuck him.

Appearing on “CBS This Morning” Monday, Brooks explained that the book grew out of a crisis in his own life.

The crisis like that time he left his wife of 28 years for his much younger research assistant.

“I had led a life really determined by the lies our culture tells us,” he said. “Our culture tells us if you succeed, you’ll be happy, or I can make myself happy. So, I lived that way, and I ended up valuing time over people. I was always busy, I was on the move, nobody confided in me. I had a lot of work friends, weekday friends; I had no weekend friends.”

I valued pussy over my family. I was always busy, on the move. At the “office.”

Then, he said, “My marriage ended.

A nebulous cloud of vagary descended over my marriage like a mist. Dissolving active verbs.

Why did it end? Do not question clouds!

My kids left for school, college, and I was living in this little apartment.

I was a sad man living a sad divorced life because I fucked my research assistant. I had no wife appliance. Only Ikea furniture and self-pity.

If you went to my drawers, where there should have been forks and knives, there were Post-it notes. Where there should have been plates, there was stationery.

But I have a new, younger wife appliance now! And an active wedding registry! I don’t have to eat off of Post-It notes anymore.

I was just living for work. I was lonely. You have this pain in your stomach. This was 2013.

This was the year I was still married to my wife Sarah, whom I didn’t divorce until 2015. Anne and I were still chastely discussing the Oxford comma. If Anne was picking out Anthropologie housewares for our future wedding registry, I don’t know. I was just living for work, and our penetrating discussions about the Chicago Manual of Style.

And you just feel, ‘I’m in the valley.’ It was a crisis of disconnection for me, and a lot of people in this country are going through that. There’s a lot of loneliness, a lot of solitude. I spent the next five years [going], ‘How do I get out of this?'”

I’ve been to the valley, the sad valley of fork-less drawers. But it really doesn’t matter to me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I have seen the Promised Land of snatch. I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land of younger pussy. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Brooks writes that life is defined by two mountains: On the first mountain, people tackle personal goals, like becoming successful; and on the second, people learn to look beyond themselves and instead focus on service to others.

(The UBT is wondering what kind of advance do you get for a book on humility? And now it is malfunctioning. Excuse me a moment.)

Brooks describes the “first mountain” as about ego. “I had a first good mountain. I am New York Times columnist, I get to be on PBS. It was success. You would think from the outside it was success, but it was not feeding my soul. It had turned me into something shallow.

I was the Kilimanjaro of ego. My ego was so big, people could only scale my knee before they ran out of oxygen. You would think I enjoyed this, but I needed to fill my soul with a major publicity tour. On morality. #shallowmountain

“I find the people who are most joyous, they go through this process [in which] they first reject the lies of our society that success makes you happy, or I can make myself happy – If I just lose another 15 pounds, I will be happy. Lie! Then they fall into themselves, they fall into their heart and soul. and they go down to the substrate which is the deepest part of themselves.

By which I mean “much younger pussy.”

“I had a friend who said when my first daughter was born, ‘I realized I loved her more than evolution required.’ I always loved that because we have this moment of care, and she got down to that level.”

Evolution sometimes requires abandoning your inferior young to the wolves. Or running ahead of the weaker antelopes so the lions eat them and not you.

I’m sorry you’re an inferior antelope, Sarah. #circleoflife

Being in the valley, he said, requires someone else reaching in to pull you out.

By which I mean “much younger pussy.”

“I was invited over to a couple’s house in D.C. And they had a kid who was in the D.C. public schools who had a friend whose mom had issues, and so they said, ‘Well, James can stay with us.’ And James had a friend, and James had a friend. When I went over that house in 2015, there were 40 kids around the table, 15 sleeping in the basement. I walk in, I wanted to shake the kid’s hand and the first kid I meet in the doorway named Ed said, ‘We don’t really shake hands here; we hug here.’ I’m not the huggiest guy on the face of the earth. But I go back every Thursday for six years and they demanded complete intimacy from me and they really lifted me up. They showed me a better way to live, which is about relationships, not self.”

My friends have a social conscience and actually do things like raise children. Without book advances! Isn’t that remarkable?

I shall glom on to their goodness with the hope that you don’t notice that I have exactly zero good deeds to my name, except the generous allowance I bestow upon Sarah for shrine maintenance. (NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE ANYMORE TINFOIL, Sarah! Wash and re-use what you have!)

Brooks said that our lives are defined by our moment of greatest adversity, and how we react to it.

Like being left for a much younger researcher assistant. If you don’t know how to react, I have written a really improving op-ed on the subject.

“I found that in the valley, the first thing I learned is, freedom sucks,” he said. “To be unattached, that’s bad. Total freedom is overrated.

Are you unattached, Sarah? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the cacophony of my hypocrisy.

“The second thing I learned is you can be broken, or you can be broken open. The people who are broken turn angry and resentful. Pain that is not transformed gets transmitted.”

I, the man who left my wife of 28 years for my much younger research assistant, shall now expound on heartbreak. Was I angry and resentful when I received The Blenheim Castle spoon rest instead of the Sissinghurst Castle spoon rest? Concerned and disappointed, yes. Bitter, no. I transmuted my pain into several essays excoriating single mothers until I felt better. #livebyexample

As college graduation (and commencement address) season approaches, Brooks was asked why he disliked the message “Do what you love.”

I dislike it when no one invites me to be their graduation commencement speaker. So much young pussy in attendance. And me alone. With much nicer home furnishings now, but I do like to get out among the young pussy people.

“Because it’s all on you. They come out of college, what are they going to do with their lives? We say, ‘Be free. The future’s limitless.’ That doesn’t help them make the choice. ‘Look inside yourself. Follow your passion.’ Eighty percent of college students have no passion.”

Just their firm skin and limitless potential. Goddamn them.

So, what should they be told?

“Live for a relationship. That seems easy. We can all say that. But to see people truly speak from the depths of yourself, not from the surface of yourself, these are daily challenges. And in our society, we just don’t treat each other very well.”

FINE. I will increase your tinfoil allowance, Sarah.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • I will NOT read this shit 2 days in a row. I could ask the DOCTOR Wasband or his schmoopie wife for this tripe if I wanted that type of crap.

      WTF is wrong with people???

      Going to turn on Netflix and look for James Dean going off a cliff.

      Jesus Christ, CL!!

      YOU’RE TEARING ME APART!!!

    • Sometimes, Reality can be really messed-up, and we don’t like to look at it.

      Thank you, Chumplady, for making us look at this. It’s like watching someone casually derail a train and blame the passengers while exonerating themselves.

      It’s out there, guys & gals. Women and men, who are just as blind and egotistical as Mr. Self Examination in the article, are around us daily, pretending to be great people.

      We MUST study this stuff when we see it, because we didn’t Want to see it before, even though that danger really WAS right there with us. I am going to keep living to be this guy’s opposite, and that includes striving for real awareness of me and my surrounds.

      We have to make ourselves sift through and find what is true. Not make assumptions. Not guess. Remember, so often, THAT’S how they GOT us already!

      As a related extra, since it came to me now:

      Keep firmly in mind what you know to actually be true, and check any new material against those points of truth. You can prevent most Gaslighting by doing this, or unravel it while a liar talks. Worked on my dad, growing up, and on my current cheater wife.

      Heck, do that properly like a researcher, and you can even objectively study the occult and prove beyond doubt that Judaism and Christianity are factually correct. No kidding. I’ve seen it happen, but one would have to be serious about the objective attitude.

  • Both are old enough to already have all those napkins and gravy bowls.

    And the only sacrifice to others I see is the one that David demands from his ex-wife

    • “Both are old enough to already have all those napkins and gravy bowls.”

      Yes, and to have outgrown the need for them.

      Besides, what do people who “live for relationships” need with napkins and gravy bowls anyway? Or spoon rests.

      The gall. Breaks of his marriage, leaves his wife alone, condemns that state, and then excoriates those who object to it (er…are “bitter” about it).

      Every time I see his smug and self satisfied face on PBS I get angry. His condescension flows like wine at the wedding at Cana–but he’s forgotten he’s not Jesus. How easy is it to extol “living for relationships” over “living for achievements” when you never have to actually MAKE that choice? If he wants to disavow his former life, why doesn’t he quit that life? Because he’s a cake eater; he wants to have both his reputation/achievement and his “relationship.” He just wants to say he’s not living for the former anymore.

      I wonder if he’s ever considered that those people who invited him for a meal for six year might have been doing that because of his status as a pundit–the achievement he so disses–in hopes that he could influence social policy that would make it possible for those kids and and their parents to enjoy their own relationships. To him, the most important thing is what they could give him.

      • “To him, the most important thing is what they could give him.”

        I suspect he thought the most important thing is that they were graced with his presence. They had the honor and privilege of his company and feeding him. Reciprocity never once crossed his mind. Hoi polloi don’t have ideas that are worthy of his time and attention.

      • “How easy is it to extol “living for relationships” over “living for achievements” when you never have to actually MAKE that choice?”

        BAM. I thought that exact thing when reading this.

      • What has David Brooks ever DONE for anyone other than express his opinion? Is he adopting orphans? Reading to school children? Ladling soup in soup kitchens?

        Seriously, where does this guy get off on his Lofty Character shit?

    • Are they both old enough? IDK she looks like she’s 22 in that photo on their registry. Which makes me want to puke…

  • I have this hangup. I always follow the money. The New York Times has lost a good bit of readership and I will bet that David Brooks is no longer selling as many books as he did. If he goes on this tour I hope about three people show up, his wife and her attorney and some old guy off the street. Who owns the New York Times and how is it hooked into CBS? I know that every time one of these major channels ABC, NBC or CBS hawk a book they all say that they are affiliated with what entity is printing it, who owns their own company. They do this with movies. We, the public, don’t realize that what they leave out of the news might be much more important to us than what they put in. I don’t give a rats ass about David Brooks. I do about his wife but there’s nothing I can do for her. What just makes me nuts, and the reason I no longer watch the news, is that there are people in California who lost an entire town. There are people in Nebraska who lost everything to a flood. There are people in the panhandle of Florida who lost everything to basically a huge tornado. Why aren’t they still in the news. The people in eastern North Carolina and South Carolina have not recovered from Florence. Why aren’t they in the news. We are still losing good people to that stupid Mideast war. Piss on David Brooks.

    • Let Go, I totally agree.

      What IS news, anyway?
      My uncle was an editor of a major newspaper in my country. He would always hammer us with: “Guys, never forget this, a newspaper makes money buy *selling* news.” They sell what they think people want to hear. They don’t give a damn about informing the public. They need to sell add space. Etc.

        • I’m not here to diss the NY Times or journalism or news. Just David Brooks. I’m a journalist for a print publication.

          Of course we live in a time of click bait — we also live in a time of attacks against our free press. So let’s bang it out over ideas. Thanks.

          • Sorry about hijacking your blog. I never knew about his personal life until you wrote about it. I just thought he was a conservative writer. The New York Times has the right to print anything but I still can’t swallow his cheating or the couple that broke up their marriages and celebrated their marriage in the pages of the New York Times. There are people who are hurt sitting on the sidelines and that’s why I get angry at the New York Times. My choice is just not to read that newspaper anymore.

          • Free press: that is why I keep my newspaper subscription in spite of their interview last week with this creature who gives courses for women on how to catch a rich husband. Almost every day they print something like this. But I guess it is good to follow what people are up to, their values. This is news in a way.

            But I do think there is a dose of Brooks saying what many people want to hear and that sells.

            • I cancelled my subscription to my local paper due to dubious billing practices. They were charging me for “special issue” (ie. Mostly adds) papers that you can’t decline, they are not included in the cost of the subscription, they won’t tell you how many there will be or how much they are going to cost and they don’t send a bill. I found out when I went to renew my subscription (after receiving a bill two days before the deadline to renew) and they told me I had past due charges relating to these “special issues”. According to the customer service rep (who would not let me talk to a manager) I knew about these charges all along because their billing policy is listed on page two of the paper in the fine print. I don’t see why they can’t just add $45 to the cost of an annual subscription and have those papers included so everyone knows what they are paying up front. No wonder newspapers are losing subscribers. I don’t like being cheated on and I don’t like being cheated (or rather tricked) either.

              I believe in free press but I don’t believe in shady business practices.

          • “we also live in a time of attacks against our free press”

            Holy crap, Chumplady, is that ever the truth.

            Before leaving office, former President Obama said that we have too many news source choices, adding that it is “like the wild west” out there in media-land.

            Scarier yet, he then said there should be only a few choices as information sources for Americans, with a government “curator” to decide what is okay for us to see and hear. (!!!) Wow. Said by an American president.

            Now, if one of more hypothetical sources were to be actually lying to the people, by omission or outright falsehood, and/or are working an agenda that would be negative in whatever ways, sure they deserve criticism and vocally done by the People as they use their own right to freely speak.

            Totally think I get you though.

            The guy is one thing (okay, a few things), but for your blog to somehow wave red at the NYT, without You even trying to take a swing at those who are your personal peers in whatever ways, as that might feel to someone at that publication, could be needlessly negative for yourself and is (of course) not even what you DO here. Or want to, for that matter.

            Your place, not just some page some place.

            We love what you do, CL.

            Damn, are we ever fortunate to have aid like your site offers. It can be a really lonely kind of situation for all we chumps, but for men especially it seems, it really is like there is No One it would seem okay to talk with or seek advice from, especially in the earlier stages of… realized personal chumpery?

            Anyway, I know it has been therapeutic for you to take on the Chumplady role, but for your sake, always remember how very much you help the rest of us who can only look forward to a time, years in our own futures, when like yourself we are beyond this experience and with a good someone.

            Thank you again.

            P.S. – For some reason, I can’t be on this site long before my writing gets sappy. Coincidence?

      • Well, the reporters are human. They write about what they see around them. That’s why there needs to be local press as well as national press.

        I remember back when my uncle was the NYT weekend editor. The extended family gathered at his house for Thanksgiving. Several of us were sick. On Monday there was a front-page NYT article about a flu epidemic.

    • Yup. There are enough famous cheaters to cover a new one ever day, and have plenty left over. Not sure why David Brooks warrants so much more space here than all the other cheaters in the news… but Chump Lady’s blog, so I bow to her wishes to cover him again and again. Wendy Williams’s husband bought (well, more likely, leased) the mistress a gold ferrari with money he took from Wendy! The depths to which some cheaters sink…

    • She is divorcing him and he’ll no longer be her manager or produce her show. She’s ready to move on, from what she says on her show. Today she shared that two men asked her out to dinner. I think Wendy will do just fine. Supposedly the Asshole was cheating 16 of the 21 years they were married.

  • I wonder if his ego has its own congressman by now. Goodness knows it’s big enough. Does it shove people out of his way too?

    • Agree! This was one of the best excoriations of shit on toast I’ve ever read!

      “Anne and I were still chastely discussing the Oxford comma.”

      Yeah, right. Fuck you, David Brooks.

    • Yasss! The UBT deserves a tropical holiday for that one. Was soooo good, I read it numerous times over. CL and the UBT are such a clever team 👏🏼

      I greatly appreciate CL’s effort, time and talent in writing all of her posts. This one was particularly exquisite. Taking down that guy and calling him out on everything, I mean just 🙌🏼 🙌🏼 🙌🏼 #golden

      I laughed my ass off at the link to the bridal registry. Had to take a look at it. My god, it’s true – and disgusting to make their nuptials so proudly public!! It’s mindboggling!!

      I really hope his ex wife, Sarah, found out about this CL post and read it. Preferably over a glass of her favourite beverage, with her some of her best pals, clinking glasses at the end to salute CL for her take down of asshat ex and to celebrate Sarah’s freedom from said asshat.

      Really, he’s a celebrated writer? I hope he got wind of CL’s take down and read it, too. I would love to see his reaction to it, haha! I wonder what tripe he’s going to write about next.

      Somebody please egg him on his book tour! 🥚

  • The second mountain of what, exactly? Shit?

    Sorry, but I just can’t even finish the UBT’s translation. What kind of editor publishes such a pile of self aggrandizement and expects to make money on it? I would like to see the sales.

    Let’s put a pinch of Oscar Wilde: “I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying”.

    This BS reminds me of what sparkledick told my son, who has Asperger’s, after he was humiliated by sparkles showing up with said son at his favorite national park together with his AP and her four children (by at least two different fathers) and kept smooching, etc., in front of said son; I was on a business trip, totally in the dark and happy to know my family was at the park.

    When confronted by son, Sparkles said: “One day we will make a judgement of value together.” He must have been inspired by a preview of the Brooks oeuvre.

    • Is it the same publisher as Eat Pray Love? Something tells me this douche and Elizabeth Gilbert should be together.

  • The sad part is that I could theoretically get behind a two-mountain idea of life, but knowing that the source is a cheating asshole puts a bad taste in my mouth.

    • Exactly! That’s the slippery slope and complete irony here – the message is being delivered by a cruel, utterly unreflective, hypocrite.

    • There is a native saying about climbing the mountain ( reference to problems in life ) and seeing the next mountain ahead.

      He probably overheard that or read it somewhere and decided to make it his own.

      Ps – he makes my skin crawl.

  • Coming in 2020: “The Third Mountain: Alimony and Viagra in the Age of Trump”

    Coming in 2021: “Him’ll Lay Ya: The Anne Snyder Story”

  • Lol. This fool never fails to astound me. Maybe it’s because I have been in and around the DC social circles he used to frequent (ps- his wife is well liked and respected, and isn’t as broken up as he’d love to think) but he’s a running joke among many of us. I heard he also got hitched to his star crossed research assistant and that she’s no slouch in the wandering eye department either. I give it five years before his saggy old balls and dour severity start to really irk her. Either way, his ex wife is the winner in this scenario no matter how you look at it. Nobody spends this much time blathering on about happiness, morality and life satisfaction unless they really need to convince themselves. He is zero fun at parties.

    • ^^like^^
      Thanks for validating that behind the self-awareness blather there is usually a narcissistic douche IRL.

      This morning I went onto meetup.com to see if I could find a meditation group because a 12 week program I was in just ended and I wanted to continue on. Surprise! the local meditation meetup was founded by and is organized by a nasty bully lawyer who I happen to know through my work. He’s a bully who manipulates and intimidates to get his way, who acts indignant when his brilliant but wrong conclusions are disproved and who killed a deal for his own clients just to prove he was right. On his meetup profile he’s all inner peace, chakras, and other sundry FAKE love and harmony. Oh, and he leads a divorce recovery group too, so something tells me he was probably a cheater as well.

      I’ve had it up to my eyeballs in fake mindfulness. I don’t trust anyone who spouts this kind of BS anymore. Show me your actions, then we’ll talk. Maybe.

    • Exactly! Contortionist arguments and rationalizations. It’s just embarrassing. “I’m so, so happy now. Can’t you see that? I am! I am!” Scream it from the mountaintop of the NYT! And the narcissism to assume we all want to hear about his personal journey and new-found wisdom. (I’m wondering if Brooks has ever read Fulghum’s Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?)

    • I am so happy to hear a positive report on the life of the ex wife. Good for her. It is nice to know she is surrounded by people who recognize her greatness and that she isn’t wasting her time pining for his sorry ass as he would like to have people believe.

    • I’m so happy for her. It’s great that she is doing well despite the crap he put her though.

      Completely nosy question: did she keep Sarah as her first name or return to Jane?

    • Oh good, I’m so glad to hear this wife is doing well and isn’t as cut up as he’d have everybody believe (or as much as he’d like).

      Yes, his blather on reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert. Trying hard to convince themselves and everybody else that their selfish actions are moral and warranted in the “quest for happiness”. Gag 🤢

  • That man is a shallow empty shell of a person like all narcs.
    What he has written proves it.

    A real human being with a conscience and values does not have 2 mountains in their lives. They combine serving others & personal success at the same time while juggling a million other menial tasks.
    He’s full of s**t and people are lapping this garbage up.
    They mentioned on CBS that he should speak to college students.
    I don’t want this narc-Ahole anywhere near kids! There’s enough bad influences in this world.

    • Exactly. I honestly don’t see the benefit of taking character-building advice from a narcissist, but who is going to call him out on this BS? He was on NPR yesterday and the host was just letting him blather on, ignoring the fact that his trip up this second mountain coincided with the dissolution of his long term marriage by cheating with a much younger woman……

  • Verb(with or without object)
    “to talk or utter foolishly; blither; babble:
    The poor thing blathered for hours about the intricacies of his psyche.”

    What is Blather, Alex. ( Blath-er )
    This guy must have a PhD in it.

  • He has a wedding registry at his age? With stuff on it? Really stupid, unnecessary stuff? Rich people do that?

    • Narcissists do that. Because it is all about THEM! Look at my tasteful selection of things you can buy ME! And maybe I will even get to keep a few when the OW and I inevitably split up!

    • Here’s hoping that Sarah was the one who gave them the Progressive Red Nut Chopper. Because . . . oh, the symbolism.

  • (with apologies to The Osborne Brothers, and in keeping with the mountain theme)

    ANNIE TOP — music by the Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, lyrics by David Brooks

    Wish that I was on ol’ Annie Top
    Down at the Holiday Inn
    Ain’t no saggy boobs on Annie Top
    Ain’t no wrinkling skin
    Wish I had a girl like Annie Top
    To fuel this ego of mine
    We’ll have coitus as we island hop
    Leaving Sarah behind
    Annie Top, you’ll always be
    Trophy Wife to me
    Good ol’ Annie Top
    Annie Top, rescue me . . .
    Annie Top, rescue me . . .

    • Brooks likes academia…I wonder if the University of Tennessee needs a commencement speaker? UX has written the perfect opening for him!

    • UX, Stop it! I can’t get any work done today! LOL.

      Sparkledick likes American country music (so do I and chump here kept our CDs of it, hahaha); I love the Rocky Top song; will never again listen to it the same way.

      I feel greatly tempted to send your version of it to sparkles, just need to change the flatterfuck’s and the chump’s names.

    • (another one came to me at lunch)

      SECOND MOUNTAIN HIGH — music by John Denver, lyrics by David Brooks

      He was published in the winter of his 57th year
      Mulling over a life he’d never led before
      He left Sarah/Jane behind him, you might say he was bailing out
      You might say he’d found a chump he could abhor

      When he first met Annie Snyder, his life was unfulfilled
      Feeling low, with no morality
      But the cheating helped revive him, now he’s on the morning shows
      And he’s filling out the wedding registry

      And the egocentric Second Mountain High . . .
      It helps to keep his little willy spry
      The book tours and the spotlight will never cease to satisfy
      Second Mountain Hiiiiiiiiiigh (fuck the valley)
      Second Mountain Hiiiiiiiiiigh (fuck the valley)

  • “they go down to the substrate which is the deepest part of themselves.”

    He went down ON the ‘substrate’ which is the deepest part, relatively speaking, of himself. Like the part of the kiddie splash pool where it dips slightly toward the drain.

  • Saw his smug mug on CBS morning Monday. Gayle King had a great opportunity to address the conflict between how preaching morality and humility runs counter to having an affair, leaving your kids and wife for a sparkle-twat that was like 4 years old when you married your first wife.

    Just sayin. Gayle did so great with R. Kelly she could have added to the stable of men who should be shamed. “Robert” could have quickly turned to “David”.

    Seems to be an expiration date on affair abuse. Oh that was sooo 6 months ago. Haven’t we all moved past that? Haven’t we all GROWN from that experience?

  • Live for a relationship. By which I don’t mean marriage, or commitment. It is INCREDIBLE to me that he can get away with saying this stuff. I am not capable of rolling my eyes any harder.

  • New girl should be on her toes. A saying with which I’m sure Mr. Brooks is familiar goes:
    “Whenever a man marries his mistress, he leaves open a vacancy.”

    • I actually did NOT know the origin of the name 😀 . I should’ve known. That gave me a good chuckle.

  • I, for one, have no intention of buying nor reading The Second Mound, er um, Mountain.

    And he’s such a shit he probably doesn’t even believe in the Oxford Comma (philistine!).

    As for this quip from his book, “Eighty percent of college students have no passion.”= None of the students in my Yale Ethics course wanted me to fuck them over my adjunct professor desk, and said, “not even with a barge pole.”

    • College kids have lots of passion. Lots of it addressed to things like fishing tournaments and rodeo riding and rescue dogs. I have a student writing about the history of drag queens. We’re having a ball with it. The trick is to go where they are.

      • I agree; they have lots of passion for many things. DB has his head so far up his own ego that he does not recognize anyone else’s passion or pain. If they did not have passion for his lectures, that I understand.

        • Exactly! Go to ANY senior awards banquet next month and you will see teenaged passion abounds.

          My teen daughters both dance competitively and spend 35 hours a week practicing. During convention weekends there are at least 1,000 teens up at 6 am to train and learn and then are up performing until midnight.

          David B, you are an ignorant hypocrite. I loathe you and hope you fail miserably.

  • Cheaters and narcissists have a universal writing and speaking style in which the actual subject of the discussion is like an invisible black hole and everything they say orbits the black hole, but never touches on the truth that is the black hole. It’s very tedious to read or hear.

  • Ha ha ha!

    Can anyone link this to the CBS This Morning comments!

    Unbelievable, that a man who cheated and abandons his wife and family thinks he can write a book on morality.

  • Sorry, but I had to stop reading at, “I had a friend who said when my first daughter was born, ‘I realized I loved her more than evolution required.’ I always loved that because we have this moment of care, and she [the baby] got down to that level.”

    I feel nauseous … Brooks’ is sick on so many levels.

  • “Brooks writes that living to satisfy relationships rather than one’s own ego fills people’s lives with ‘wonder, gratitude and hope.’” – How on earth would he know? As far as I can tell his relationships are all about his own ego.

    “in our society, we just don’t treat each other very well.” – Yeah, you know all about that one don’t you.

    What a flaming hypocrite. How can anybody take this man at all seriously?

  • For a moment I thought it was called “the second coming and ”
    Now that would’ve been a brilliant title.

  • Thanks for the lesson in justification Brooks! That was a great step by step how to guide! Great cheater fodder! I’m sure all the “transformed” people of the world are lapping it up! Positivity (a.k.a. sanitized language) is positively transforming… wouldn’t you agree?

    “you can be broken, or you can be broken open. The people who are broken turn angry and resentful. Pain that is not transformed gets transmitted.” Do you mean like your projection? Oh please tell us more!

    Also, thank you for this little nugget…

    “I had led a life really determined by the lies our culture tells us.” Absolutely brilliant! Turning cultural norms like – not lying, not cheating, not causing other people pain, into a problem with our culture! Mastery of the mind I tell you! Your ability to see the problems in our culture, but not in yourself…please, please tell me how you do it! Let me guess, is it Blameshifting? Wow, it feels so good not to be responsible, how has society not adopted this philosophy and taken it mainstream? Perplexing! I guess it’s something only the “transformed” people of the world can understand!

    While I’d love to learn more about how to deny, attack, reverse victim and offender; sadly that pesky little part of my life called morality just can’t seem to comprehend the dismissive complexity of the mind fuck you’re selling! Darn, back to the lies of society I must go! Fully and completely untransformed by your fodder! Yes Brooks, I know… it’s a sad, sad day in society when compassionate people labeled “bitter” can’t be influenced to morally disengage! When they’ve been educated on the tactics used by manipulators it can be so discouraging! Don’t let it get you down though buddy, just keep being nice and maybe they won’t realize you plugged a knife in their back! Keep on keepin on!

    See, isn’t pleasantness nice! Passive aggressive is so much easier to stomach than “bitter”! Thanks for the lesson!

  • WTF was the point of what I just read, sans the UBT? WTF is David Brooks anyway and why on God’s green earth does he have ANY credibility to spew the bullshit I just read?

    Whose dick did he suck to get published, because that is the ONLY way I can see how it could have happened?

      • Of course. Silly me, why do for yourself when you can get somebody else to do it for you?

        After all this, I’m still making rookie mistakes regarding manipulative tactics of getting someone else to Eat the shit sandwiches for you.

  • “I found that in the valley, the first thing I learned is, freedom sucks,” he said. “To be unattached, that’s bad. Total freedom is overrated.“

    This message is brought to you by:
    White Male privilege (freedom “sucks”, bruh)
    Zola gift registry (everyone needs 6 cheese boards because, “community uplifts”)
    Narcissists R Us (I don’t wanna grow up)

    • Thanks for these past two days. I know I’m not supposed to try to untangle the skein if f***upedness, but this helps me so much. I’ve always known there was something “missing” in these narcs’ hearts, but David makes it so easy to understand. I feel so sorry for them. They really have never known what it feels like to love another person or live for others in their whole pathetic narcissistic lives! To quote another famous narc, Sad! They are so grateful these young women will have them that they get these big feelings of “love” and “selflessness” for the first time in their lives, and actually feel like they are better people than they’ve ever been. They get a glimpse of what it’s like to not put themselves first above all others through the high of their lust. So they destroy their families, hurt their kids and abandon their wives and feel like it is for a higher cause – love, altruism, selflessness. They have zero empathy for those in the wreckage, and like dear David, try to control the narrative and the response of the spouse they have blindsided. Seeing (through David’s words) how shallow and callous and LIMITED my ex is, I think I’ve moved past Saturday and Sunday and it’s noon on Monday towards meh. I truly feel sorry for my ex. I’ll accept my imperfect parts and be grateful that loving and giving come naturally to me. Maybe someone who loves well will wander my way in this lifetime, or maybe not. But in the meantime, I’ve cleaned up my life of all narc-ish people, and I’ve noticed they don’t come into my life like they used to, so I must be making progress…..good riddance narcs. Use and discard each other, the rest of us have a world to love and lives to live.

  • The biggest burden for self righteous Christians is hypocrisy. If you can’t walk the walk just shut the hell up, professor douchbaggery.

          • David Brooks was Jewish. Apparently, Sarah’s birth name was Jane, but she converted to Judaism before they were divorced (2017). Anne (“new” supply) is Christian, and he has now converted to Christianity (2019).

            So let me guess … he persuades Jane (Sarah) to switch to his religion, then he meets new supply who persuades him to convert to what Jane (Sarah) was … Sound familiar? Simply put, he doesn’t conform to Jane’s needs but rather expects her, and persuades her, to conform to his. Then he discards her for someone equally as persuasive (narcissistic) as he or at least on the same level as he is (my guess many notches below Jane/Sarah), as he is, and converts to what Jane/Sarah formerly was.

            Basically, he’s getting what Jane/Sarah offered to him from someone else … and letting everyone (including Jane/Sarah) know.

            How do you compare that to chumps who will try to change for the ex during the pick-me dance? Mine said I was financially irresponsible and so I tried to learn how to be and told him that I was now because I hoped he would come back to me and really, it’s better to be financially responsible, I realize. But he considered me pathetic, faking it, and when he realized I actually was, admired me but didn’t come back, and now I’m thinking he’ll use it against me. And yet I did it with integrity, seeing that yes, he is right, seeing that I can show that I’m not the loser he thinks I am, really struggling to balance a bank account when I have grade 9 math, not taking him and his income for granted.

            But I don’t write a book about how noble I am, I don’t use word salad to describe what I’m doing, I don’t become the world’s authority on balancing a bank account. I might suggest Excel tips for newbies, but I’m not full of myself … I’m authentic. The motivation was to have my ex like me, and the end result was that sitting here on my own, without him here, I have a killer budget spreadsheet.

            But is that the same as what Brooks is all about? I think people could think it is, but I sure has hell hope not.

            • You are indeed a Champ! Learning new skills even if originally motivated by hopium is nothing to dismiss. I tell anyone who will listen how I learned to vacuum, drive long distances, and balance a budget since DDay. It feels great to change for the better regardless of the cause. And that’s on YOU not the ex.

  • I notice his advice to college students is ‘Live for a relationship’. That’s A relationship, not all your relationships. As in, a relationship that will make you feel like a hero of romance, not all those other relationships where you’re just kind to folk, spend time with yr grandma, get a present at Christmas for the binmen etc. He hasn’t seemed to have learned that you don’t need a significant other to be a complete human being.

    • Good point. As someone who’s been burned by living for “a relationship” – it’ll be a long time before I put all my eggs in one relationship basket again.

      I’ve spent a lot of energy diagnosing the problems in my marriage (which is a totally separate issue from the affair / discard: just because XW is an adulteress doesn’t mean I don’t have crap to own from the marriage), and concluded that I bound up *too much* of my identity in my marriage. I’d have been happier and healthier, not to mention better able to handle the discard, if I’d maintained more and better relationships independent of my wife. Extended family, friends, hobby buddies, etc.

  • “In his new book, “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life,” Brooks writes that living to satisfy relationships rather than one’s own ego fills people’s lives with “wonder, gratitude and hope.”

    This is actually a proven theory. In fact this morning I was listening to a similar message on the 10% Happier podcast. There was a group that studied if you could make yourself happier by simply deciding that you would be happier. The study was conducted in 5 countries, including he U.S. What they found that was in all the countries except the U.S., you could make yourself happier. Then they researched why it didn’t work in the U.S. and they found it was the way we make ourselves happier is the key. In all the other countries, people made themselves happier by doing things for others. In the U.S. we looked to make ourselves happier through our ego–by earning more money, getting a promotion over someone else, etc. etc.

    I don’t discount that there are cheaters that may realize that they were the people responsible for their relationship failing. They realize that they did not invest in their partner and that maybe the behaviors their partners exhibited that the cheater used as the reason to cheat were in fact in response to their own lack of involvement. They then make the necessary changes and can be much better partners to their new SOs.

    The thing that really burns me about these type of people is that they leave a path of destruction to reach this enlightened sense of being AND they are unapologetic about it. It would have far more more weight if they would take accountability and say that their journey to this new path caused trauma to others and they they are sorry for that. Instead, they gloss over it like other people didn’t matter which undermines the whole message.

    • “Brooks explained that the book grew out of a crisis in his own life.” – No mention of or concern for the crisis he caused in others lives. Just “see how great I am for overcoming the crisis in my life?”. What a POS.

  • My response shall be a series of random comments because apparently that is the DB (David Brooks or Dick Bag you choose) way to write a masterpiece
    Oddly enough there is no place to leave comments or reviews of the book on Amazon.
    #shallowmountain favorite yoga pose of the faux enlightened. Important closing move to #egosalutation Add it to your daily practise.
    Gravy boats are important. They are a metaphor for how shmoopie and I are in this together. And by this I mean the hot sticky •CENSORED•.
    Pay attention – This is why I did not “really” cheat on my wife. We had spoon rests, separate, not even our cutlery touched. Clearly the marriage was over before it even started so I cannot be accountable not cleaving to her and living for that relationship.
    What’s that? 28 years? Well you know clearing up our non relationship status was complicated. I was on the first mountain after all. #nocellsignal #sherpaswon’tcarry divorcepapers
    I know people with 17 kids living in their basement. They taught me to enjoy giving #creepyuncleDBhugs
    #cheeseboardsandgravyboats4ever

  • GEEEZ!!! This is like the series of books ” _________ FOR DUMMIES!” This is the manual for the person I fear most of becoming! ME ME ME!!! I I I I I ! How can someone be so self absorbed? How can 1 idiot be so complicated and make his and others around him lives so complicated? No wonder he was alone in that apartment. Everything he wrote about was ALL ABOUT HIM!!! I read nothing here that shows he extended his self and did ANYTHING for another human being.
    Excluding his self improvement and divine enlightenment that brought the glory of GOD, as he seems to put it, that he exudes onto other peoples lives by his mere presence. I need a bath now. BLAH!!!

  • I have no idea who this guy is so I had to google him, what an ass! Morality my ass! I would never take a morality lesson from this douchebag. Nope and please do not let him talk to college students. Such a hypocrite as all cheaters are. I have been very nauseated these last 2 days just reading this. UGH!!! I will now go and adjust my moral compass

  • Seriously, all kidding aside.

    It’s scary how people delude themselves into believing their own BS. And that others blindly follow without understanding where there ‘revelations’ come from.

    I just hope to God I’m not doing this to myself.

    Trying to sort what is honest/good from self-serving delusion is exhausting.

  • “And in our society we just don’t treat each other very well.”

    Well, yes, I totally agree with him there. The problem is he has such an utter lack of self-awareness that he fails to see that treating each other well in the context of society at large begins at home. He treats his wife with utter cruelty by committing adultery and publicly shaming her for her reaction to it, looks around, and marvels at how shitty people can be? The only reasonable explanation I have for this astounding disconnect is that he probably finds it very easy to compartmentalize things. My ex actually told me without prompting on my part that he compartmentalizes things, and that’s how he was able to lead a double life. It’s really the only way someone like my ex or Douchebag Brooks can preserve their ability to see themselves as a good person. So Brooks put the box of horror and destruction labeled “betrayal” deep in the recesses of his basement where he doesn’t have to look at it. That’s the real substrate he’s talking about. He drug the box of “moral authority” upstairs and wants to dump that shit at my doorstep? Nah fam, take that shit up to your mountain and kindly tumble back down, hitting your dick on every jagged piece of rock as you flail around. What an absolute piece of garbage.

    • PEPE,
      AHA!!! The word “Compartmentalize”!! Never knew or understood what that meant or if people actually used it until the XW decided to blow up our family. I define it as #LACKOFCOMMITMENT.
      Its NARC talk for “I separate and detach, or never attach, myself to anyone or anything.” As I’ve learned, its just a bullshit way of convincing themselves, and trying to convince the CHUMP, they separate things as a single entity. They never saw a spouse and kids along with them as one SINGLE living entity. Their spouse is one. The kids are another. The family home is also another. Their career is theirs.
      Boy! If I was a Family Therapist, Family Law Attorney or worked in any capacity in Family Court I would be smiling ear to ear after reading that garbage. With so many in the world like him? They will NEVER be without a job.

        • The first words out of my ex Asshat’s mouth, when confronted with the fact that I was aware that he was fucking his best friend’s (now ex) wife was, “this doesn’t affect you.”

          He was actually proud of his ability to compartmentalize cake. Such an enlightened douche bag! I believe this is one of the most prevalent traits of narcs of all stripes, coverts in particular. The basic chumpy traits of object constancy, honesty and loyalty are so beneath them.

    • KK used the word “compartmentalize” like it was a newly-discovered superpower, which I was not able to harness nor understand.

      As you note, it’s how they’re able to function: if everything exists or takes place within its own vacuum of self-absorption, there’s never any discernible effect on any other aspect of life. It’s how they can say “This has nothing whatsoever to do with you and/or the kids — if you can’t see that, then that’s your problem.”

    • My douchebag ex tried that line as well, but I reminded him that since he had been treating me so badly during the affair, and shoving it in my face by doing things to deliberately risk getting caught for the thrill of it, it was not seperate at all. In fact, he even went so far as to try to get me to meet his bitch on a double date with her and her husband, because the sickos wanted to do it right in front of their spouses to get an extra big hit of duper’s delight.
      Compartmentalization is bullshit. If we do wrong, it always spills over into other areas of our life. You can’t keep darkness and evil in a neat little box, because it’s a hungry monster that cannot be contained. It wants to eat everything in your life, and eventually, it does. It ate his family and he’s desperately, pathetically trying to pretend that has made him happy and he’s actually grown from the experience of LOSING HIS FAMILY just for younger pussy. Nazi POS David Brooks will be cheated on and dumped into an old age home by the slutwife when he gets to the age of needing care, and he will die miserable and alone because he threw the only people who truly loved him away. Suck on that, Nazi POS David Brooks.

      • Yes, DB has increased the odds of that happening. But you can’t count on it. He could enjoy continued vigor and die at age 102 at the hands (or knife or firearm) of a jealous husband. Like they say in AA, let go and let God.

  • OMG so much word salad. WTF does any of that even mean. I can’t imagine spending anytime reading that book. I’d rather eat my shoe!

    David Brooks STFU you irrelevant, effete little man!

  • Honestly, I never heard of the guy but just googled him and Schmoopie. Read some of his articles. Just click bait. They look for all the world like Dad-with-daughter on his arm. She clearly latched onto him for the career prospects. She’ll be off with someone else as soon as his dick gets slack. Tossers. Ex wife is probably glad to be free of the bullshit he spouts.

    • I saw a picture of the two of them on Google images. They look ridiculous. OW looks like an over-grown child sitting on her grandpa’s lap. She looks almost parental with him – she exudes confidence, while he looks dazed and vacant – almost shocked.

      Do they not know that everyone is laughing at them? Does OW realize that people call her a gold-digging whore? And him, some sort of pervy, Viagroid that got suckered by young piece of ass? It’s probably only a matter of time before she gets pregnant and he becomes Grandpa Daddy.

  • Hey,

    Chumplady, you are KILLING me with this Brooks stuff. My ex wife is sort of the female version of this, so having a gut revulsion reaction.

    Here is the question, is this obliviousness? Do these high-functioning moralistic narcs not see their game? Holy shit they are insufferable.

  • The title is an implicit, but probably unintentional admission that he doesn’t live a moral life, doesn’t know how to live a moral life, and the whole thing puzzles him enough to have to go on a “quest” for a moral life.

  • So his wife changes her NAME and her religion in the name of marital harmony, and raises their 3 kids Jewish. He dumps her, quickly writes pieces about how lonely he is, then, when it feels like enough time has passed, just as quickly develops feelings for his research assistant and changes his religion to Christianity in the name of Schmoopie. And writes pieces in the NYT that tell the ex-wife, in a thinly disguised but very public way, that she should just go away quietly. What an ass. My ex was a pompous, lying hypocrite, but never did he parade those qualities this publicly. (At least, not that I know about.) This guy sets a new standard. If Sarah ever writes a book about making your way through difficult times with your integrity intact, I will buy it. By the way, I am pretty astonished that almost everything in the registry has been purchased. Except for the gravy boat and some of the napkins.

  • His word salad crap-ola reminds me of what happens when my international students inadvertently put too much trust in what Google translate spits out.

    I eagerly await more of his…uh…thoughts. It gives me something to laugh at while I’m eating my corn flakes in the morning.

  • Newbie here, have been following CN and CL for a few weeks, yet to post my situation, too raw at present. And uncertain of my reception since I am diagnosed and trying to live healthily with EUPD – there seems to be a lot of antagonism to disordered folk. We can also be chumps.

    However, this has ASTOUNDED me. I’m British, haven’t had the misfortune of hearing about this ultimate narcissist before. Who is this bloke?

    What came to mind;

    Desiring unstretched/untorn/unstitched Pyreneeum in the holey land of Annedorra.

    I despair that the world can make room for such utter obvious twaddle, and the bloke gets published and remunerated. And validation.

    • I don’t know your situation and I have no direct experience with EUPD so hopefully I am not going to say something inadvertently offensive, but, people on this site do tend to have negative gut reactions to anything that reminds them of their cheaters or that they think might explain their lousy behavior (whether clinically proven or not). The fact is, however, that personality disorders do not affect one’s moral compass and they are not an excuse or explanation for treating others badly. My understanding (and I don’t really know much about it) is that EUPD can lead to impulsiveness and sudden intense emotional actions and/or reactions. With the exception of the rare one-off moment of impulse, infidelity typically involves long term planning and deliberate deception which I do not believe are symptoms of EUPD. It also is not a valid excuse for being cheated on. If your former partner could not handle your situation, then he/she may have had a right to end the relationship as compassionately as possible, but he/she did not have a right to go looking for your replacement (or side piece) first. Cheaters come in all kinds of packages but what they all have in common is selfishness and a sense of entitlement. Other people’s feelings just don’t matter all that much and they are not concerned about how their actions are affecting others.

      In the meantime, I hope you can find some support here. There are many of us and we do not all share the same prejudices so there should be some sympathy to be found. It sounds like you are aware of your condition and doing something about it so that the symptoms do not have an adverse effect on you or those around you. You should be encouraged in the same way people are encouraged to overcome physical handicaps (which are also used as an excuse for infidelity by spineless jerks). If you are dealing with infidelity and DDay was not that long ago, that can’t be helping and you should be applauded for still being functional. You are doing well. Keep it up. Also practice self care and remember that the corollary to “trust that they suck” is “trust that you don’t suck”.

    • The antagonism is not towards the disorders themselves or all people who have them, but to those people, disordered or not, who do things which harm others, such as cheating on, lying to and abusing their spouses and children. If you are living healthfully, you are not in that category and have no reason to fear being judged. As you say, it is certainly possible to have a disorder and live a decent life. Some people simply CHOOSE not to because they are fundamentally bad people, not just because they have a disorder. It’s those people we hate, and justifiably so.

  • Oh my! His first review on Goodreads isn’t so good. Now who would be so meany-headed to a sterling character and brilliant writer like Nazi POS David Brooks? It must be some bitter bunny who’s just jealous of his awesomeness. Yeah, that must be it. Tsk tsk !😉

    The review:

    “The usual windy drivel by one of America’s biggest moral hypocrites. Naturally, it’s full of the sort of self-serving justifications he uses for his own vile amorality in callously abandoning his long-time wife for a younger woman, then chastising her in the pages of the New York Times, no less, for not taking his abuse with “dignity”. He even went so far as to imply she was stalking him, smirked about her desperate love for him, bragged about how much pain he was causing her, and, in a staggering display of narcissistic entitlement, admonished her for not being happy for him, all while implying *she* is a narcissist. He even tried to justify ignoring his children as treating them like adults and helping them to mature. He actually tried to paint dismissive treatment and emotional neglect as a parental duty. All that in one article. This book is a rationalization for all his cretinous behavior as being about personal growth. His navel gazing has a vomitously new-agey feel, as if he’s channeling both Deepak Chopra and Donald Trump’s ego.
    This creature has absolutely nothing to teach anyone about living a decent life. He seems like he may have narcissistic personality disorder or is perhaps a sociopath. At any rate, he’s a tiresome, pretentious writer who employs repetitive word salad to fill up the pages. One can only hope his ex-wife writes a tell-all about him. It couldn’t possibly be more shoddily written, at the very least.”

    • Wow! What a review! LOL. Not gonna buy the book. It may be unfair. But I do not need to pickup horseshit with my bare hands and smell it to know it is horseshit.

      • Almost certainly one of us. I won’t ask that person to fess up unless they want to but thank you for expressing the collective thoughts of CN.

        • I agree, it’s one of us. Somebody who despises that hypocritical Nazi POS David Brooks with every breath in her body. Gosh, I wonder who it was and how somebody who is (totally coincidentally, of course) also a Nazi POS David Brooks hater, stumbled on that review so quickly after it was posted? Wink wink nudge nudge. 😄

        • I had the same thought. I can think of few people here who have an eloquent way with the keyboard. (smiling).

    • Great review. The subtitle really should be “The Quest for a Moral Life…When you Have no Morals”.

      • Perfect review! They sure have his number and called him out for the hypocritical, narcissistic pig that he is!

    • In keeping with this trend, this was just recently added on GoodReads as a comment on the first (glowing) review of the book. CN strikes again?

      “Hi, Gail – very nice review. I am wondering if Brooks speaks at all about dumping his wife of 27 years for a woman who is barely older than the marriage, and how he “explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family…” given his hypocrisy on that score? I am mildly curious about the book, but feel like I might resent being lectured to by someone whose behavior doesn’t seen to reflect his words.”

    • Amen!

      Anyone looking for some awesome snark — check out https://www.gq.com/story/david-brooks-trump-whitewater “Why The Hell Does David Brooks Still Have a Job?”

      “As a professional Haver Of Takes, I have a certain morbid admiration for New York Times columnist and human mayonnaise spill David Brooks. I don’t quite know what the secret is to attaining such lofty standing in the Bogus Influencer Economy that you get to spend the bulk of your time appearing on the Sunday morning shows, collecting hefty advances for pamphlet-quality books, racking up monstrous fees on the lecture circuit, and drawing a hefty salary from the Times for columns that don’t even get formally edited. All I know is that I want in. I want the keys to the Fartsniffer Club, where con artists like Brooks and Tom Friedman and George Will and Arianna Huffington and the like can all gather together to address The State Of Things and feast on live human infants.”

      I LOVE THIS GUY.

  • When I read anything that David Brooks has written, I can’t help picturing him sitting naked, in front of a mirror, dick in hand, jerking off. With a smirk on his face. And everything he writes has the chorus of “Me. Me. Me. More Me.” I put up enough with my own cheating Ex-husband and his intellectualizations and justifications and all I can think of these narcissists is that they are truly delusional. The psychiatric hospitals aren’t big enough to contain them.
    I also read that his wife converted to Judaism AND changed her first name from Jane to Sarah. Wow! Pick Me Dancing from Day One. We can’t learn about morality from someone who has no integrity.

    • Wow – changed her name – I would never change my name for anyone. Although I did my share of pick me dancing for entirely different reasons.

    • Lol! What an image. Pass me the brain bleach, please.
      The comments to this CL post are some of my favorites since I’ve been coming here.

      Who in the hell changes her NAME for the love of a man? What kind of an ASSHOLE would cheat on a woman who loves him that much? Good grief, he is beyond vile.

      • Just looked through that wedding registry. It made me sick to my stomach. A source online said that David Brooks makes around two million a year. Don’t know if that is true or not. But, with two million a year and after leaving your wife of three decades for an assistant your daughter’s age, it’s obnoxious to put up a gift registry. These two are not starving 20-somethings who are shackled to student loans. Also, I have not seen a wedding registry that pompous in a long time. There is a restaurant that I go to often. One of the waitresses is getting married in August. I asked her if she had an online registry so that I could buy her a wedding gift. Right now she and her husband live in a house with roommates and all their stuff is in one room. They don’t even have living room furniture. When I asked her what her preference was for a gift, she said, “Please buy me a crock pot. I don’t care about the other stuff. I just want a crock pot of my own.” She was being completely serious. She and her soon-to-be husband are both part of the working poor and having a cock pot is a really big deal for them. They are so strapped for cash that they aren’t even thinking about Waterman crystal and designer dishes. That is so far out of their context because they don’t even have a silverware set. I sure as heck will get this nice waitress a crock pot and several other gifts. It kind of puts things in perspective with David Brooks and his wife. Their registry is full of pompous and expensive stuff and they can pay for all these things. They don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from and so they can actually think about which designer plate or piece of kitchenware is as pretentious as they are. Just gross.

    • I remember doing a registry with the Dickhead. It was like 4 blue towels, 4 blue washclothes, queen-size blanket. I had lived on my own for 5 years before we got married and I had stuff already. The stuff on that registry is ridiculous and people (maybe just him and her) have actually bought that stuff. It looks like it belongs in a mausoleum.

  • Looked up the book on Amazon…just to see if had any reviews. There were no reviews yet but here’s a section from the description:

    “In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. ”

    Isn’t that STRAIGHT from the cheaters playbook? To pretend it didn’t happen. To re-write history??

    • I might know somebody who bought some stuff from Amazon so they would let her write a review. It might be the identical scathing review from Goodreads. Snicker snicker.

  • For many women, myself included, Brooks has it backwards. Our first mountain, the first part of our lives, are all about relationships, at the expense of our own needs, our careers, our dreams. Our husbands, our marriages, our children, our parents, come before us, always. No ego there. And we do it all happily and with love. All too often though, our gifts are unappreciated, and loyal, older wives and mothers are tossed to the side in favor of someone younger, someone new. Right, Mr. Brooks? So our relationship mountain turns out to give us little meaning in the end. Many women move on in their later years to enjoy the careers and dreams they put to the side during those “relationship” years. Others are are blindsided and never fully recover. Where are these women supposed to find meaning, Mr. Brooks, in the aftermath of their wrecked relationships? Somehow, I doubt your new book has any answers for that question.

    • “For many women, myself included, Brooks has it backwards. Our first mountain, the first part of our lives, are all about relationships, at the expense of our own needs, our careers, our dreams.”

      BAM #2. My second thought when I read his garbage today.

  • What I love most is that this lying fuckwit has apparently just ‘discovered’ some deep truths about human relatedness, what really makes us happy, and the folly of seeking success, fame and money. Just now. (We also know this won’t last. Once the inflation calms down or they take him off the ecstary/oxytocin drip, he’ll go back to his usual self, but that’s beside the point.). He can at least make it appear he’s now enlightened to truths that e very major religion and most minor ones, many great and minor philosophers (not Nietzsche, he’s the UberNarc), and the research on well-being have been telling us for millennia.

    But HE is qualified to tell us all this amazing news. HE is the one who will enlighten us! HE deserves the book, the book tour, the attention…. And of course, the money it will bring in.

    Because he’s just that special.

    • Of course I wrote ‘infatuation’, not inflation. Thanks auto-correct (but I forgive you, because I have transcended my bitterness!)

  • It almost seemed like the interviewer was shocked that he had the gall to write about morality when she knew his true history. These cheating narcs are so desperate to prove they have good character. But, their poor character is so obvious and self evident that they have to resort to desperate and extraordinary lengths to confuse their audience. Once the audience is confused, their general charisma and appearance is the only memorable aspect of their performance.

  • Wikipedia says David Brooks divorced his first wife Sarah (who changed her name and converted to Judiasm I’m guessing to marry him) in 2013. A Washington Post article says he divorced in 2014. Gawker says no divorce papers were filed in 2014. In fact, Brooks and his wife Sarah bought a house as a married couple in 2014. I’m confused and from what I can find David Brooks won’t answer any questions about his relationship to his research assistant or about his divorce. BUT he married the research assistant in 2017. Maybe Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone can clear this all up. He wrote in 2012 that “Part of the reason Brooks comes off as moralizing,” Taibbi told me, “is because people don’t know who he is, just that he has a lot to say about other people.” Those people, Taibbi maintains, tend to be poor. Brooks “has basically one idea,” he explains, “which is that the poor are badly behaved and need to behave better, and all of these lectures that he gives on moral vocabulary are really a way to express this idea that all of the problems the underprivileged face are their own fault.” My confusion goes deeper though because now he is moralizing on living for a relationship because “we don’t treat people very well.” WFT???? He divorced his wife of 28 years and wrote a nasty editorial in the NY Times directed at her, complaining that we are all too interconnected thanks to facebook and instagram. David Brooks seems to hit all of the buttons of a cheater. I never liked the guy… Matt Taibi got it right

  • Thanks to you CL and the UBT I am realising these entitled cheaters all use the same distancing, blame-shifting and gas-lighting. Some just cloak it in different styles. His is self-righteous vague evasive arrogant b’s. Total hypocrisy writing about morals.

  • Dearest CL, I have found you because of David Brooks. I discovered his new book on NPR and immediately downloaded it to Audible. Started listening right away because yes! I’m also on my second mountain! At the start of the book I heard about his loneliness in his apartment – his children grown, a divorce – that poor man, just like me and so many other people I know going through divorce after a long term marriage. I took a break from the book to check his situation out online and learn more about the trauma and loneliness he’s experienced. Empathy and understanding is something he deserves from me! Yes, sometimes the tough things in life catapult us to our second mountain, the one that’s filled with meaning and truth and morality. And suddenly, I AM A CHUMP. I never referred to myself that way after my husband cheated on me, but I am ashamed to admit I’m a David Brooks chump. Even though I got a refund from Audible, I am still a chump. Years ago, I bought myself “The Road to Character” and bought one for each of my three kids for Christmas. I had no idea. David Brooks, you slimy, sanctimonious hypocrite: I want a refund.

  • Thank you for taking this on again. David Brooks should not be allowed to publicly gaslight. His books and articles amount to nothing more than massive gas-lighting since he lives his life in a way that is the absolute opposite to who he pretends to be in his books. That’s a type of crazy-making on a massive level and it is akin to gas-lighting. He even writes like a seasoned gas-lighter.

    “Oh no, you didn’t just see me fucking my assistant on my desk while I am still wearing a wedding ring… you completely misunderstood what we were doing! You see, I was actually doing research studies on interconnectedness and fulfilling relationships. Sure, we were both naked and she was bouncing up and down on my dick while I sat in my office chair, but that was purely for the sake of learning more about the nature of connectedness and fulfilling relationships. I am a noble man and noble men do not have affairs. I am also an author and real authors do research on the material they are writing about. I need to know what it means to be truly interconnected.”

    YUP. I am sure people walked in on that very scene while he was married and I am sure that is what he said. That is a master gas-lighter.

    We need books on character and on second chances. But, they need to be written by people who actually HAVE CHARACTER and who have actually had to reinvent themselves after being victimized by David Brooks. David Brooks is the VICTIMIZER and not the victim. He did not have to reinvent himself. All he had to do was lay waste to the lives of his wife and children and then go off on his merry way with a child bride and then write another book.

    I was telling my husband about what David Brooks did to his wife and family and how David switched from Jewish family man to a duplicitous cheater who laid waste to everyone around him. I told my husband David got divorced and reinvented himself as Christian man with a Christian child bride aka research assistant. I talked about how these two have written books about character, but how they have the least character of all. No one likes a hypocrite.

    I have a ten-year-old who is on the autism spectrum who overheard all of this and started asking questions. Now, the common belief about autism is that autistic children misunderstand social cues. But, that is not the case with my child. He has a bullshit meter and mile wide and he sees the games people play and then he calls it as he sees it. He asked if he could write a comment here on CN about his opinion on David Brooks. I told him that I would type the comment for him.

    Now, I will warn you that my youngest son used strong language, which his older brother taught him. He has an older brother who is a teenager and who is a real imp and my oldest thinks its funny to teach my youngest “dirty words” because my oldest knows my youngest will use them whenever my youngest wants, regardless of social context. But, I think that is less about autism and more about my son’s mile-wide bullshit meter. He also simply doesn’t care if the nasties of the world overhear what he thinks.

    So here is what my ten-year-old said, “David is a big piece of shit. He divorced his wife for a shitty woman who is not actually a real Christian. David Brooks is the biggest pervert in the world and he probably had sex with tons of women before he met the fake Christian lady. David doesn’t know anything about what it means to be a good person. He left his wife for a dirty, nasty person who is like 30 years younger. He is an old man and she is like his daughter. Should that be possible? Should it??? Didn’t his wife want therapy? And what did he do? He probably told his wife she was stupid. And I hope his wife slapped him for saying that. After that, his wife probably sent him out of the house and I hope his wife took all his money in the divorce for herself and her kids. David is like a dirty piece of shit that is stuck to your new shoes and you can’t get it off. David will block you from fulfilling your future dreams if you read his books.”

    Well.. that is what my son said. From the mouths of babes. If a ten-year-old boy can figure out that David Brooks is an EGREGIOUS human being, I think everyone else should be able to figure it out. Oh where did my son learn that language? As I said before, from his much older brother, of course!

    I cannot even fathom how people can do such evil as David Brooks and his new wife. How can someone write books about morality and character and then be the absolute opposite of that? This is NOT OKAY.

    The people who write about character should actually have character.

    I actually wonder how much David Brooks used his first wife and his family as a “cover” to distract people. I feel like he may have always known who he was – a sociopathic douchebag with no morals – but he also knew that if he wanted to be presentable and appealing to a mass audience, he needed a nice, clean image. He strikes me as the type who will always find reasons to hang around college campuses and anywhere else “barely legal” girls hang out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he uses his book signings to cop a feel on the young women who show up. I would bet a $1,000 that he is a serial cheater and has been a serial cheater for MANY years. But, I bet he used his wife and family as a smokescreen to cover up his double life. I would bet money that David Brooks is this type of guy and used his wife and children as the perfect cover — merely accessories that followed him around so he could look legitimate.

    I also wonder how a woman who claims to be a Christian can be okay with breaking up a family and getting married to such a douchebag.

    I feel terrible for the day when David actually wants to create offspring with his child bride.

    Can you imagine how his adult children will feel? What happens if his adult daughter gets married? Is he going to walk his adult daughter down the isle while he carries a crying infant in his arms? Can you imagine? Who the heck does this?

    I live in a rural area and there is a reason. Big cities are absolutely full of these types.

    Thank you for writing about David Brooks again. If people do NOT speak out about what he is doing, he will normalize these egregious behaviors for society. That is unacceptable. We need LESS of these people and not more of them. If David has a platform for his douchebaggery, society will get used to it like frogs in a pot. But, we must fight this urge to get used to lower moral values and those who destroy the lives of others through their concrete actions. We must hold people accountable for what they are writing IF they are living a double life. He and his research assistant are not allowed to write a book on character while they have the LEAST AMOUNT OF CHARACTER. Not okay! Hope his publisher drops him. And he will be okay because apparently his young schmoopie is all he needs. Who needs book deals when the has a schmoopie half his age at home who will give him a “thick and loving relationship”? Also, he claims he is past the ego mountain, so I think he will be just fine if he loses all his book deals and speaking engagements. Since he claims the second part of his life is about family, I am sure he will be fine being a stay-at-home dad changing diapers all day and cleaning vomit off his shirt. Since he says that’s where fulfillment is, it’s time to give his book deals to people who actually walk the walk like the people here at CN.

    CL, please write your own op-ed for the New York Times if you have the time. It would also be fun to see you interview him and ask him how it is okay for him to write books about the things he doesn’t do. Like a typical narcissistic, he wants the rest of us to play by the rules and have character, while he does damn well whatever he pleases. Narcissists want everyone else to play by the rules except for themselves. Maybe you can show his ex-Sarah (Jane Hughes) how to handle him. My heart goes out to her; I cannot imagine how she and her children feel. I hope she is reading this thread and sees others are in her corner.

  • Sarah, please tell your 10 year old he’s magnificent! You’re raising a superb young man there. Love his bullshit meter! Hugs x

    • Hello ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump,

      Thank you and hugs to you too. If you met my little ten-year-old you might think he is double magnificent. He ADORES and respects women. He has that mile-wide bullshit meter and his sense of humor is hysterical. He LOVES animals and he is a vegetarian by choice. Next, he has endless compassion and cares so much for the underdogs of the world. He has enormous blue eyes that are full of wonder. When people have heard him swear they are always taken aback because he looks like a little angel. (LOL). But, the best part is, he is a still a snuggler and as sweet and gentle as can be. If he meets a new adult woman (like a friend of mine) he will make her a homemade card or give her a small gift, like one of his stuffed animals or lego sets. He loves to share his toys with everyone and he is one of a kind. When Christmas and Hanukkah come around, he always picks out beautiful toys for kids whose parents can’t afford them and we donate the toys. He just got tested again for autism and he is still in the mid-range of the spectrum. Little did I know that autism is truly a gift. He sees the world in such a refreshing way and he is the coolest person I know. I am grateful every day that he is my son.

      But, my he almost didn’t make it.

      At five months gestation these doctors were certain he had Down’s Syndrome based on ultrasound measurements. I had to wait three weeks for an amniocentesis. I had told my husband that even if he had Down’s Syndrome, we would keep him. But, I was on edge waiting to find out so that I could prepare. He didn’t have Down’s Syndrome.

      But, then my worst nightmare occurred.

      When my son was born, he was NOT breathing. They whisked him off to the NICU before I could even see him or touch him. The doctors immediately prepared me for the worst; they said he might not make it. It turned out his lungs were completely full of fluid and they had to empty his lungs and keep him in the NICU for three days. During those three days I cried almost constantly because the doctors did not want to give me any hope. Thankfully, he made it. And now he is 10-years-old and he is one of the most delightful people anyone could ever meet. He is so kind and loving, but his sense of humor is hilarious AND he stands up for everyone who is harmed by others. Dare I say my 10-year-old is a billion times the man that David Brooks could ever be. It is shocking to me that my 10-year-old knows what is right and what is wrong and that he is able to articulate it, but a grown man cannot do the same thing.

      Most of all, he has a moral compass. He has empathy. He becomes enraged when he hears of innocent people (or animals) being harmed either emotionally or physically.

      My son also hates infidelity. He has seen friends at school whose parents divorced due to infidelity. He has seen how these children suffer and he absolutely hates infidelity because of it. Like me, he cannot fathom how someone could be so evil to the person they were supposed to love and to whom they made a promise. I know when he grows up he will respect his wife and he will never have an affair. He is going to be the type of man the world needs (or so I hope). One thing is for certain– he will treat women well. I am bound and determined to raise good men who have real CHARACTER. My sons won’t write about character, they will (hopefully) live it.

      And yes, my son reads this site over my shoulder and he chuckles because he understands the humor. His favorite meme from this site is the “I haz a sads” cat. LOL. Also, my oldest sometimes reads this site because he also loves the humor and CL’s posts. My oldest is an imp, but he too hates infidelity and he too has a very strong moral compass. How is it that one tween boy and one teen boy have more of a moral compass than a middle-aged man like David Brooks? I am shaking my head here because people often criticize the young and believe they are immature. But, I can tell you this– my kids may be young, but they know right from wrong and they know integrity cannot be bought and sold. They know integrity is one of their greatest assets. It’s disheartening when two young boys have such wisdom and a middle-aged man who had many years to gain wisdom has none at all. It’s kind of upside down.

  • What kind of bullshit word salad is this? Where does this man’s mountain of entitlement end? Questions noone needs the answers to. My god, I wonder if schmoopie has realised her mistake yet? Maybe that’s what happened: “quick pompous old guy that I fell in love with (your money and position in society and what that could do for me), go spend a year writing another book and I shall sit in this little side room with a nice view of the garden”. She’s a real Charlotte Lucas.

  • I saw something on Facebook a while ago that posited the theory that men use the women in their lives like a lens to process and express their feelings through and this would seem to be the case here for this entitled old white dude. He projects all of his thoughts and feelings about himself, the negative ones that he can’t handle, his ideas about aging and what that means onto his wife Sarah, much like they talk about your shadow. So if your wife/partner is not clued into this, and can’t manage or can’t be fucked (because who really wants to be responsible for managing the thoughts and emotions of an emotionally infantalised partner who won’t do the work himself) doing it, then they get all the blame for those bad feelings, and are seen as the barrier to the individual’s personal happiness. So they look for someone different, someone who will reflect back to them their feelings about themselves in a way that makes them feel, yes, I am as attractive and witty and urbane and successful and masculine and intelligent as I’ve always suspected. And so, because they process and reflect those emotions for the person in the way they want them to, they then become the saviour, the new ‘true love’ who keeps those good feelings alive, which are then projected back onto the new partners as loveable qualities. Imagine being dumped because you are not seen as yourself, but rather because, as a mirror, you are not reflecting back what the other person thinks you should. It does make a strong argument for the fact, particularly in these narcissistic types, that you are not valued for yourself, but rather how well you act as a psychological function of reflection for the other person. Highly impersonal and terribly depressing, but I guess the sooner we can recognise that, the better off we’ll be in terms of moving on and healing: It wasn’t us, it was just we didn’t show them themselves the way they wanted to be seen.

  • We all see the similarities between this fuckwit and Elizabeth Gilbert, right?

    Really makes me want to try to write a book about Chump epiphanies and self reflections.

  • I was just listening to an interview on npr, I really enjoyed what the presenter was saying about individual culture creating tribalism, and practicing community. I missed the introduction and around the minute mark, I started to wonder if the speaker was him and IT WAS. What queued me in was when he started to describe how we become morally bankrupt, he ended his piece with “…and this is what HAPPENED to me” avoid responsibility much Mr. Brooks? SHAME

  • Two years ago, I was doing the pick-me dance for about 3 months and we had to attend our son’s graduation at UChicago where David Brooks gave the commencement speech.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCW4bf7YLU0
    At around 25:00 he starts talking about intimacy and that the greatest challenges in life are loving the spouse you have deeply etc. I was listening, hoping my then-husband would get the message that keeping a 23 year marriage together was better than the 17-year younger GF. After the graduation, I asked him what he had thought of the speech. “I wasn’t listening” he said (I guess I know what he WAS thinking about). At the time, I thought: well at least there’s one decent man [David Brooks] who can understand that the meaning of life–even for successful men–is sticking with the old and making it work. Now I know better, and I have to say it makes me think that all successful men feel entitled [e.g. Jeff Bezos] to upgrade spouses when they are done with them. I helped to enable my ex’s success while putting my own career aspirations on the back burner and raising three terrific kids, and now wonder: was he always like this or did I teach him how to use my sacrifices as the stepping stone to “better” (aka younger)? Well, David Brooks definitely wins the hypocrisy award of the decade! I wonder if he, too, tells acquaintances and friends “we drifted apart” (no agency!) to keep his image as a “good guy” alive.

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