David Brooks Talks to Us About Therapy

Thank God. I was so confused:

There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.

This response was understandable. It’s important to tamp down vengeful
hatreds in moments of passion. But it was also patronizing. Public
commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to
protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and
intolerant thoughts. If public commentary wasn’t carefully policed, the
assumption seemed to be, then the great mass of unwashed yahoos in
Middle America would go off on a racist rampage.

Worse, it
absolved Hasan ā€” before the real evidence was in ā€” of his
responsibility. He didn’t have the choice to be lonely or unhappy.

First of all, it’s not like Middle America doesn’t have a history, fuckpuppet. Second, I don’t recall the conversation being so policed thatthis dickhead couldn’t get a hearing. Third, OH MY GOD, it is not the job of therapy to provide you with excuses. If it seems that way, David, I suggest you find a new therapist, because explanations for why you are fucked up and permission to go on fucking up are not the same thing.

I kind of want to send David to my recently-retired doc, whose advice often took the form of, “So that makes you unhappy? Yeah, you should cut it out.” On the other hand, she’d probably slap him in the face with a dildo. I mean, I know that’s my instant desire upon reading this kind of mealy crapola.

For what it’s worth, I think the coverage that attempts to explain “why” someone would go on a shooting spree is always annoying. How you talk to your children about national tragedies is up to you and if you’re looking to Good Morning America for tips, or worse yet David Brooks, maybe it’s time to put down the crack pipe and take the little tykes to the park.

But Brooks isn’t making the point that our journalism is stupid. He’s making the point that, as usual, liberals are pussies and his imaginary scenario is the only one that matters:

And evidence is now mounting to suggest he chose the extremist War on Islam narrative that so often leads to murderous results.

The conversation in the first few days after the massacre was well
intentioned, but it suggested a willful flight from reality. It ignored
the fact that the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the
central feature of American foreign policy. It ignored the fact that
this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the
U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.

denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought
to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction
of a morally or politically serious nation.

Yes. A morally serious nation would have found some hippies to kick the shit out of and then gone to blow up Pakistan.



15 thoughts on “David Brooks Talks to Us About Therapy

  1. There aren’t enough therapists on the planet to handle Bobo and his ilk.
    she’d probably slap him in the face with a dildo
    This is both vivid and discomfiting.

  2. If out of the gate they’d all said it was evil then would it have been “a rush to evil?”
    Is his problem the rush or where it went?

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong, but, none of us know what was going on in Hasan’s head on the day of the shootings–especially Bobo (Bobo can’t even make sense of what’s going on in his own head). Hasan’s still in the hospital, and to my knowledge, hasn’t given any interviews–and probably won’t be allowed to do so by authorities.
    But, trying to understand why things happen is not a knee-jerk liberal apologist position. It’s what sentient beings do to try to avoid a problem in the future. That seems lost on Brooks in his haste to smear in rank ideological fashion. Scratch Bobo, and you’re going to find Tailgunner Joe McCarthy under the veneer.

  4. Definitely Ditto to Spork and Montaq.
    As highlighted a few days ago, most Media rushed to report instantaneously. It was news that instant. This, combined with the horrific events had two rather big effects.
    First, it completely crowded out analysis and thought (which take time and work); it will take quite some time to collect a coherrent whole picture of Hasan. At this point, we have the very unjust situation of only knowing what the investigators leaked about him – rather biased.
    Secondly, one cannot make certain observations without being offensive – like he was a Muslim in a military with a pronounced “War on Islam”. He said he was a Muslim First and American second (ooh, sounds so bad. But then remember that Christians are actively encouraged to be the same). The therapy sessions he led were surely interesting as the soldiers he counseled probably had interesting things to say about Muslims which had certain effects on him. Going back to 9/11, you couldn’t say anything about how global imperialism likely led to hatred against America.
    Of course, his actions were horrific and cry for justice. But if we hate sin but not the sinner, surely we can have some sympathy for him even while administering justice (or how can we be just without sympathy?)

  5. It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.
    Any situation like this is full of complexity. Evil, sure, there was some evil, also some social maladjustment, also some crazy and quite possibly lack of the correct medication. And about a 100 other things probably. All Brooks is trying to do is to reduce it to a different -still wrong- black and white picture.
    Not the reaction of a particularly astute writer.

  6. It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil.
    It bothers me that there are grown men in this world who write sentences like that outside of the context of something like an HP Lovecraft story.
    That being said, the guy’s not dead. He’s going to be questioned. Right now he’s lawyered up. I promise you his answers won’t make any sense to any rational human being, but he is going to be questioned. There’s really no point in wondering what was going through his head.

  7. Hmmm…David Brooks might want to read his newspaper today. Seems like some unwashed yahoo DID go off on a racist rampage yesterday and beat a Greek dude with a tire iron–thinking he was a Muslim.
    Care to issue a retraction, Bobo?

  8. It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.
    The funny thing is you can just turn this on its head really easily and it makes just as much sense:
    “Brooks denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of social maladjustment. He sought to reduce a heinous act to evil. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious columnist.”
    Meanwhile, over at Firedoglake, Marcy Wheeler is writing about Ft. Hood like a grownup. I’m sure she’ll get a gig at the NYTany day now.

  9. So, the action of a morally serious nation is to take some circumstantial evidence the military reviewed carefully and rejected, declare hindsight 20/20 and headlines the only arbiter of what is true, and run away with it screaming into the hills in hysterics?
    Really, David?

  10. the possibility of evil
    Yeah, they didn’t even bother checking to see if he’d ever played for the Really Rottens in the Laff-O-Lympics.
    I know people who actually think Satan himself causes society’s ills, and they’ve still got a more thoughtful take on “evil” than this jagoff.

  11. I have it on good authority that Hasan was a certifiable nutjob. My source says the cops were called on him a week before he murdered those soldiers. She knew it, others knew it, but no one said– this guy is insane, lock him up. Now, why would that be? Is the military so hungry for bodies they don’t care who they send to Iraq? Luckily my source missed being in the waiting room by 5 minutes. She was on the scene to take care of the wounded then finally called her mother (who I know) a few hours later when she realized her mother must be in agony waiting for word.

  12. Fuckpuppet is my new favorite word.
    My therapist would laugh David Brooks out of the room. Smart people will recognize him for the fool he is.

  13. what brenyb said. i have nothing intelligent to contribute to this discussion beyond “fuckpuppet, heh” and “slap him in the face with a dildo, heh.” also: what pansypoo said. better red than gay, now, i guess.

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