Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Romantic Regime Change: Bye-bye, Brooksy

SCOOP! I'm not even kidding.

According to David Brooks's Facebook page, he doesn't work at the New York Times any more. (Also, there's Jordan's Episcopal summer camp, the only other job he's proud to have held.)

You're saying, "He hasn't worked at the New York Times for years," I know. Still, you don't change your FB profile for nothing. His most recent update, and the only one since he put up his new profile picture (to include Snyder) on November 22, is from February 6, and it's a Bruce Springsteen video covering Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell". For whatever it's worth.

I was looking at it out of curiosity as to whether he broke up with Snyder, as I thought might be the case, judging from today's gloomy column, "What Romantic Regime Are You In?", discussing how the Russian Regime of Fate (how Russians thought love worked ca. 1996, where your love life is wholly out of your personal control) and the American or global Regime of Choice (how David Brooks thinks Americans select their mates, with a checklist of appropriate qualities and a flexible return policy), as described in a nice essay by the Russian-born sociologist Polina Aronson (quoted at length as he pretends to have gotten the material from a variety of sources, in the usual eighth-grade approach). Brooks thinks both should give way to the Regime of Covenants, where you decide you're never going to break up, suggesting that he may be feeling bad about the divorce again.

It's instructive how he doesn't understand the meaning of "regime" in the sense of "regimen", "the characteristic behavior or orderly procedure of a natural phenomenon or process", and seems to think Russians have had their tempestuous romances imposed on them from above, and some kind of legislation ought to be able to fix it.

Also what I think is his first "amazing" of 2017, and 152nd career use over all, in one of his purplest descriptions of personal cluelessness:
In the flux of life you meet some breathtakingly amazing people, usually in the swirl of complex circumstances. There is a sense of being blown around by currents more astounding than you can predict and control. Mostly you’re bumblingly trying to figure out the right response to the moments you’re in.
It's a signally awful piece of work, and yet remarkably uninteresting. It's hard to think he's phoning it in any more than usual, but I think he's really leaving the building, folks. And you got the scoop from Rectification Central.

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