For some reason, I really love to hate David Brooks. Perhaps it’s the way he shows up on TV magazines and smugly declares others (notably Barack Obama) to be elitists who are out of touch with the mainstream while himself being an intellectual egghead no more in touch with the common folk than he is with his fellow NY Times columnists. Basically, I guess I’m saying that he comes across to me as a hypocrite and a sell-out.
Now, there’s nothing I like more than to be self-deprecating. I have an iPhone, and yep: I got the white one cause it visibly demonstrates that I’m so cool I got the 16GB 3G model. I peruse sites like gizmodo to find out what kind of cool shit is out there. Guess what, David- I don’t have time to scour every geek conference and news site in search of some gems, and why should I when the fine folks at gizmodo are willing to do it for me? Their contributors operate on the same model that you do: taking their time to peruse the sea of information that most of the rest of us don’t have time to, and then communicating their opinions along with it. The difference: they aren’t usually such pricks about it.
When you first come across some obscure cultural artifact — an unknown indie band, organic skate sneakers or wireless headphones from Finland — you will want to erupt with ecstatic enthusiasm. This will highlight the importance of your cultural discovery, the fineness of your discerning taste, and your early adopter insiderness for having found it before anyone else.
Then, a few weeks later, after the object is slightly better known, you will dismiss all the hype with a gesture of putrid disgust. This will demonstrate your lofty superiority to the sluggish masses. It will show how far ahead of the crowd you are and how distantly you have already ventured into the future.
To wit: if there’s anything more detestable than a too-cool-for-this-life hipster, it’s the hater who is too sarcastic for too-cool-for-this-life hipsters. David: why you hatin’?
David Brooks – Lord of the Memes – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com