New York Times commentator David Brooks, who wrote one of the worst novels imaginable, based on evolutionary psychology (PZ Myers seems to agree with me on this), allows us to know that he is paid to be a narcissistic blowhard.
He has one thing down right: He made sure they paid him.
Yes, okay, okay, otherwise a narcissistic blowhard. But why must the world keep getting bulletins about it?
From the Guardian review of his book length lecture, The Road to Character:
The Road to Character feels like an abrupt plunge that goes far deeper. Though not explicitly religious, Brooks’s language evokes theology: for example, he doesn’t shirk from using the word “sin”, not in a scolding sense, but to refer to the universal tendency to “get our loves out of order”, prioritising what doesn’t matter most. A friend in publishing, hearing him speak about the book while he was writing it, called Brooks and said: “Do not use that word ‘sin’ – it’s so off-putting!” But Brooks concluded that it was necessary. “Sin isn’t the Holocaust; sin is spending your life thinking more about how you’re coming across [in a conversation] than on what the other person’s saying. These kinds of small sins that we do every day.” His point is not simply that we’re too focused on money, fame or possessions. Even someone committed to doing good – working for good causes, raising children well, helping the community – can too easily end up skipping the internal work of confronting our weaknesses, our inherent “brokenness”, required to achieve the richest inner life.
Actually, you can get it all far better said for free by St. Paul, some while back.
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Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose