David Brooks Provides Us With Yet Another Reason To Hate Duke (And David Brooks)

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I'm sorry, somehow we missed this bit of intellection from the Upmarket Jeff Foxworthy, David Brooks: "How do you construct a rich versus poor narrative when the rich are more industrious?" he mused last week ... about Butler-Duke.

No, seriously. That's what he said. Here's the full exchange:

David Brooks: Unlike 90 percent of America, I was rooting for Duke last night. This was widely cast as a class conflict — the upper crust Dukies against the humble Midwestern farm boys. If this had been a movie, Butler's last second heave would have gone in instead of clanging off the rim, and the country would still be weeping with joy.

But this is why life is not a movie. The rich are not always spoiled. Their success does not always derive from privilege. The Duke players — to the extent that they are paragons of privilege, which I dispute — won through hard work on defense.

Gail Collins: I'm sorry, when the difference is one weensy basket, I'd say Duke won neither by privilege nor hard work but by sheer luck. But don't let me interrupt your thought here. I detect the subtle and skillful transition to a larger non-sport point.

David Brooks: Yes. I was going to say that for the first time in human history, rich people work longer hours than middle class or poor people. How do you construct a rich versus poor narrative when the rich are more industrious?


Matt Taibbi does the Matt Taibbi thing all over Brooks's head — "Would I rather clean army latrines with my tongue, or would I rather do what Brooks does for a living, working as a professional groveler and flatterer who three times a week has to come up with new ways to elucidate for his rich readers how cosmically just their lifestyles are?" — and there really isn't much to add, except to point out that a.) in David Brooks's world, "rich kids vs. farm kids" is an apparently distasteful narrative of class conflict but somehow "poor people are lazy" isn't; and b.) Brooks could stand to be a lot more industrious himself. Lucky ducky.

Brooks: Let Them Eat Work [True/Slant]
Redefining What It Means to Work Hard [Opinionater]