Malacandra.me

David Brooks: Can This Marriage Be Saved?


Short answer:  No. 

Because if one spouse is hiding in the bathroom trying to defend the kids, and the other spouse is a MAGA Hat psycho who is gleefully coming after you with an ax, the marriage is over.

Longtime readers know that Mr. David Brooks The New York Times has a long-established habit using his column to to  subtweet about the state of his marriage in the guise of of as shitty, ill-fitting metaphors about "relationships".  From me back in 2014:
At this point, guessing at "Why?" is a reflex, so of all the subjects available in the world, I had to ask myself why is Mr. Brooks -- whose bread-and-butter has been pumping out horrid tripe about Fake Centrism, the sins of imaginary hippies and the merits of various crackpot Conservative economic schemes and military adventures -- suddenly writing about grief and loss?

And if I had to guess, I'd guess because Mr. Brooks is currently going through a divorce, and that experience permeates everything.  In fact if I were doing this as part of a longer, think-tank piece on capital-M Media, I would probably note that a lot Mr. Brooks' recent subject and content choices --
-- sound a lot like what might cross the mind of an obsessively passive-voiced man who is going through the disintegration of his marriage.

But as I am not currently employed by a think-tank, you gentle readers are in no danger of me spinning this out any further.
I would further tax your memory and patience by noting that while the corporate media was doing what it does best vis-a-vis Mr. Brooks -- assiduously averting its eyes from what was staring it right in the face all along -- this lil Liberal blog in the middle of Middle America was the first and only media outlet to do the hard work of bothering to look at any publicly available video of  Mr. Brooks' before November 2013 and any video of Mr. Brooks' after and checking out his left hand.

You know, the hand where the wedding ring goes?


So (he said, jumping back to the present) when I see this op-ed by Mr. David Brooks in The New York Times today, I have to wonder...
How to Repair the National Marriage
Now am I suggesting that Mr. Brooks is once again sublimating problems with his brand-new wife into yet another slab of wildly reductive, Procrustean bullshit about America as a Marriage in which it is the responsibility of both sides to try, try and try again to humbly see the other side's point of view?

Probably.

But since Mr. Brooks' column is a mush of random snips and banal asides from his apparently vast collection of  "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" literature --
Each person brings into the marriage a pattern of interaction absorbed from his or her original family...

Apparently one of the most common dysfunctional scripts is the demand/withdrawal cycle...

The third task is to recognize that repairing marital strife will require both spouses to become better people, more empathetic, more sacrificial on a daily basis. Marriage has been likened to a gem tumbler; it’s banging two rocks together in order to eventually bring out their deeper sparkle...

...when arguing, “I” sentences are better than “you” sentences.
-- and does not contain a single, tangible fact that relates any of this to American politics in any way as it actually exists in the real world, I think it is equally likely that Mr. Brooks is advising us all to dump our old, frumpy country that never believed in us anyway...

...and hook up with a newer, hotter, much-younger country who thinks every random, half-baked cliche that tumbles out of our heads is pure, Socratic genius.

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