New York Times Columnist Admits He Should Probably Be Arrested
David Brooks is a deeply strange man with strange opinions who makes a living writing op-ed columns in the New York Times that make everyone feel uncomfortable and angry because they adopt a tone of smooth white-guy Reasonableness while advocating ideas that are completely insane.
So today, while most of the towns where media folks live were covered in snow, Brooks’s target audience—bloggers who want to write mean shit about him and his fucked-up columns—huddled under the covers with a mug of warm cocoa and had a field dayripping apart his latest opus, which is called “Weed: Been There. Done That.”(Edgy title, bro.)
The column starts out with an admission:
“For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana. It was fun. I have some fond memories of us all being silly together.”
Trying to imagine what the heck this guy would look like when he’s “silly”? Please stop. In any case, that first bit is just a lead-up to Brooks’s explanation of why his group of (presumably white, upper-middle class friends) stopped smoking pot. For one thing, they got bored of it—it was “fun, for a bit, but it was kind of repetitive,” he writes. For another, one of his buddies “became a full-on stoner,” which as Brooks describes it is a fate too awful to contemplate—“something sad happened to him as he sunk deeper into pothead life.” (I’m imagining a dude who bought a bong, a bunch of shitty Bob Marley posters, and today leads a perfectly pleasant life raising alpacas and playing in a folk-punk band. Today he occasionally talks about his old high-school friend Dave, who “would usually pay for the weed, but was kind of a dick.”)
How to Look Like an Asshole on a Skateboard
Last week The New York Times published a detailed fashion guide on how to look like a complete jackass on a skateboard from the helmet all the way down to the longboard. The article was titled “How to Not Look Too Silly on a Skateboard,” and I still halfway think the Times is trolling me (did I use that word correctly, Glen?). The piece was written by a guy named Alex Williams, who wrote an article the next day titled"Skateboarding Past a Midlife Crisis," which features a diagram of ‘the aging skate rebel today’ holding a Bustin longboard and a fucking VitaCoco. The two pieces link back to each other like a hellish, mongo-pushing Ouroboros. I have both articles open right now and the urge to vomit on my computer screen has never been so strong.
The Times is notorious for being mind-bogglingly out of touch when it comes to anything that could be remotely considered “counter culture” (to put it in their lingo), but these two articles are the journalistic equivalent of me attempting to write about the migration habits of the Bar-tailed Godwit in Sanskrit. Let’s examine the undisputed leader in news’ model of a ‘not-silly’ skateboarder.
Ride a Longboard
I wouldn’t say that people who ride longboards should be euthanized, but the culture that longboards have spawned could certainly be wiped off the face of the Earth and no one would care. Right? Blame it on the gloved herd of Bustin riders in Union Square or Sector 9, but longboarding has always been skateboarding’s Peter Criss.
Wear a Helmet
This one starts with: “Don’t forget the helmet. If it’s cool enough for Tony Hawk it’s cool enough for you.” By that line of reasoning, we are also all cool enough to be stuck inside of a McDonald’s Happy Meal and serve as a human spittoon for Duane Peters (Yes, I realize I’m linking to a video on Tony Hawk’s site. The guy is unavoidable.) For better or worse, this is a universally acknowledged truth in skateboarding: Unless you’re skating vert (or transition in general if you’re over 40), you cannot wear a helmet. It just isn’t allowed. Helmets are clunky and hot and they make your head look like the top of a penis. Sorry, thems are just the facts.