Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Attempted Murder of Satire: David Brooks

What I saw today streaming virally was the equivalent of seeing this.
We bicker about 30-second negative adds which are misleading at best, whether it be a SuperPac slamming Bain Capital or Romney torching Obama on welfare. But all the "experts" seem to agree that the spots work - they appeal to the visceral biases of the American voter - the lowest common denominator. Joe Sixpack doesn't get sarcasm.

Which is why today's David Brooks opinion column The Real Romney makes no sense. Not that it wasn't somewhat clever, but what was the point and who is it reaching? New York Times Republicans?

Here are some snippets:

Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states.

He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become the Arrow shirt man.

The Romneys had a special family tradition. The most cherished member got to spend road trips on the roof of the car. 

Romney also went on a mission to France. He spent two years knocking on doors, failing to win a single convert. This was a feat he would replicate during his 2008 presidential bid.

After Harvard, he took his jawline to Bain Consulting, a firm with very smart people with excessive personal hygiene. While at Bain, he helped rescue many outstanding companies, like Pan Am, Eastern Airlines, Atari and DeLorean.

After a successful stint at Bain, Romney was lured away to run the Winter Olympics, the second most Caucasian institution on earth, after the G.O.P.

OK David Brooks. You aren't as pragmatic as your righty colleague Ross Douthat or as incendiary as your lefty counterpart Maureen Dowd. So I see your point in writing this...to establish some internet street cred.

But I'm not sure what to call it. If Bill Maher spoke or Matt Taibbi wrote those words, nobody would bat an eyelash. But since you're who you are, a conservative columnist at The New York Times, it's so rogue.

There are other places to take that kind of...work. There's the blogosphere, which you are eminently qualified for (this site for example). Or there's another publication where the editor could teach you about satire.

Or maybe the part you really wanted us to read was in your final paragraph:

At the convention, where his Secret Service nickname is Mannequin, Romney will talk about his real-life record: successful business leader, superb family man, effective governor, devoted community leader and prudent decision-maker.

But we've got a weeklong pageant from the national media for that. Which will be all but forgotten  by the end of next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment