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.
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
“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.