Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Culture of Narcissism (Politics Included)

Dandy New York Times op-ed columnist and alleged intellectual David Brooks took time out last week from admiring Barack Obama’s “perfectly creased pant” and bemoaning America’s disregard for his beloved educated elite class to explain the Mel Gibson mess in The Gospel of Mel Gibson. With all the pop-psychology gravitas of a Cosmopolitan sex advice column, Brooks declared Gibson the prototype narcissist, the “Valentino of all self-lovers:”

"His self-love is his most precious possession. It is the holy center of all that is sacred and right. He is hypersensitive about anybody who might splatter or disregard his greatness. If someone treats him slightingly, he perceives that as a deliberate and heinous attack. If someone threatens his reputation, he regards this as an act of blasphemy. He feels justified in punishing the attacker for this moral outrage. And because he plays by different rules, and because so much is at stake, he can be uninhibited in response. Everyone gets angry when they feel their self-worth is threatened, but for the narcissist, revenge is a holy cause and a moral obligation, demanding overwhelming force."

Perhaps if Brooks weren’t so infatuated with that impeccable crease, he’d realize he just described the President. Are all of the educated elite this dense?...

(Riley Hunter, "The Gospel of David Brooks: Insights Into Mel Gibson from the Educated Class," posted at Big Hollywood.)