On the Opinion Page: May 13, 2008

13May08

In which The Gay Recluse scores selected opinions in The Times.

Bob Herbert/Here Come the Millennials

The Short Version: The youngs are seriously fucked, which is why they should vote for Obama.

In his words: “This is a generation that is in danger of being left out of the American dream — the first American generation to do less well economically than their parents.”

Score: D+ (Dumb)
Although it’s a relief to see the election viewed with a different lens than race, we’re pretty sure that Gen X was the first generation to understand that we would never exceed the olds in terms of McMansions, second SUVs and other indices of prosperity that have long defined boomers (aka the olds). But we’re also used to being completely ignored by boomers like Herbert, so we’re not that offended.

David Brooks/The Neural Buddhists

The Short Version: Hey, guess what?! There’s an element of “the unknown” — let’s call it the soul, or God — that science will never be able to measure!

In his words: “Scientists have more respect for elevated spiritual states.”

The Score: F (Fuck!)
It’s basically a crime that Brooks can write this column without once mentioning Arthur Schopenhauer, who effectively ended all of these arguments almost two hundred years ago in “The World as Will and Representation,” in which he (among other things) shows the limits of any purely materialistic view of the world, i.e., the obvious limits of atheism.  Our personal theory is that Schopenhauer would be even more celebrated than he is but for the fact that he writes like a deliciously bitchy queen, which scares away conservative pseudo-intellectuals like Brooks.  Still we are consoled by the idea that two hundred years from now, people will still be reading Schopenhauer, but nobody will be reading Brooks.

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