1. David Brooks is still being employed by the New York Times to write a garbage column.
2. This week's garbage column is like a trophy to garbage.
He spends the first part of the column sarcastically sneering at the libertine expansions of freedom "we've" won over the last 40 years, resulting in people being "much more at liberty these days to follow their desires, unhampered by social convention, religious and ethnic traditions and legal restraints."
(Note to David Brooks: People with uteri exist.)
He then goes on to note that the "big thinkers" have always warned about the "downsides" of too much freedom, and he laments that "the balance between freedom and restraint has been thrown out of whack. People no longer even have a language to explain why freedom should sometimes be limited. The results are as predicted. A decaying social fabric, especially among the less fortunate. Decline in marriage. More children raised in unsteady homes. Higher debt levels as people spend to satisfy their cravings."
I could spend the rest of the day detailing what's wrong with that, but I've NO TIME, because he immediately segues from this snide lamentation to observe:
But last week saw a setback for the forces of maximum freedom. A representative of millions of gays and lesbians went to the Supreme Court and asked the court to help put limits on their own freedom of choice. They asked for marriage.Again, I could spend the rest of the day detailing what's wrong with that, but instead I will simply say: Everything. Every single thing is wrong with that.
Marriage is one of those institutions — along with religion and military service — that restricts freedom. Marriage is about making a commitment that binds you for decades to come. It narrows your options on how you will spend your time, money and attention.
Whether they understood it or not, the gays and lesbians represented at the court committed themselves to a certain agenda. They committed themselves to an institution that involves surrendering autonomy. They committed themselves to the idea that these self-restrictions should be reinforced by the state. They committed themselves to the idea that lifestyle choices are not just private affairs but work better when they are embedded in law.
And far from being baffled by this attempt to use state power to restrict individual choice, most Americans seem to be applauding it. Once, gay culture was erroneously associated with bathhouses and nightclubs. Now, the gay and lesbian rights movement is associated with marriage and military service.
(Note to David Brooks: Bisexual people exist.)
But the thing that really fucking gets me is this: Whether they understood it or not. Fuck you, David Brooks. Fuck you.
I have had just about enough of privileged men talking about marginalized people like we don't know our own lives. I have had enough for a lifetime, enough for six eternities. This is vile, hateful, infantilizing swill, and lest anyone mistake that I'm being uncharitable, that is the charitable version.