There is Friedman and his relentless lust for platitudes, whatever happens in the world, Friedman will be there to comfort us with at least a dozen platitudes. I don't take this lightly, someone has to do it.
And there is Brooks. Whatever happens in the world, Brooks will comfort us with a sermon on community, togetherness, faith and stronger selves. This man is fantastic, he will always see stronger selves emerging. He has the style of a pastor who never believed in God but who served God and his parish out of necessity.
His 'uplifting prose' is an attempt at job security. It's all the old tricks. Keep it simple. Be sentimental. Repeat your message over and over again. Always be sentimental. Praise the community. Be sentimental. Et cetera.
Here is Brooks on the last plague:
'We are all assigned the task of confronting our own fear. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a pit of fear in my stomach since this started that hasn’t gone away. But gradually you discover that you have the resources to cope as you fight the fear with conversation and direct action. A stronger self emerges out of the death throes of the anxiety.
Suffering can be redemptive. We learn more about ourselves in these hard periods. The differences between red and blue don’t seem as acute on the gurneys of the E.R., but the inequality in the world seems more obscene when the difference between rich and poor is life or death.
So, yes, this is a meaningful moment. And it is this very meaning that will inspire us and hold us together as things get worse. In situations like this, meaning is a vital medication for the soul.'
Read the sermon here.
Here's to meaningful moments and stronger selves. And this is how mankind will end: it will choke on a mouthful of sentimentality.