David Brooks Is Brilliant (and Prescient)

| April 23, 2009

New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks knows of what he speaks. Last month he wrote an elegiac piece called “The Commercial Republic.” In it, he posits that historically America has unabashedly pursued success and the byproduct of hard work and risk-taking, wealth—that, in fact, it is part of our national genetic code.
He points out that sadly we are in what he calls a noncommercial moment, when the media are full of downbeat stories exploring the downfall of the American economy, with more than a little schadenfreude for the wealthy figures who have been brought low. But, he says, “the cultural DNA of the past 400 years will not be erased. The pendulum will swing hard. The gospel of success will recapture the imagination.” I couldn’t agree more.

Graydon Carter: Cafe Sociologist

| April 13, 2009

Graydon Carter and Spy made fun of nearly every rich person or celebrity, and absolutely every symbol of the ostentation of the era. Donald Trump, famously dubbed a “short-fingered vulgarian,” was their favorite target. They were the gadflies of the New York establishment, and they did it brilliantly. Almost 30 years later, Graydon could almost be a target of his former magazine, were it still in existence.