Saturday, June 26, 2004

Brooks on Moore

In today's New York Times, David Brooks stops and takes "a moment to study the metaphysics of Michael Moore". As Brooks points out, American liberalism has certainly come a long way:

In years past, American liberals have had to settle for intellectual and moral leadership from the likes of John Dewey, Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King Jr. But now, a grander beacon has appeared on the mountaintop, and from sea to shining sea, tens of thousands have joined in the adulation.

He then goes on to note that, inexplicably, Moore tends to save his most scintillating insights for overseas audiences, featuring such incisive social commentary as:

"That's why we're smiling all the time," he told a rapturous throng in Munich. "You can see us coming down the street. You know, `Hey! Hi! How's it going?' We've got that big [expletive] grin on our face all the time because our brains aren't loaded down."

Brooks also recognizes that our Michael has not been shy about sharing his razor-sharp analyses of the situation in Iraq:

But venality doesn't come up when he writes about those who are killing Americans in Iraq: "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not `insurgents' or `terrorists' or `The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win." Until then, few social observers had made the connection between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Paul Revere.

As Brooks concludes, "The standards of socially acceptable liberal opinion have shifted. We're a long way from John Dewey."

My advice is to read it all.


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