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David Brooks, today::

"Little boys and girls in ancient Athens grew up wanting to be philosophers."
Charlie Pierce, also today:
Actually, most little boys and girls in ancient Athens grew up wishing they weren't slaves, and wishing they weren't chasing sheep across a rocky hillside, and hoping they wouldn't be dead of cholera before they were 15.
Today's Brooks' column, "Thought Leaders" is one of two things:
1.  A cry for help, or
2.  A spectacular lack of self-awareness,
as he attempts satire by profiling an archetype that fits no one as well as it does Brooks himself.  

As usual, Driftglass sums it up expertly:

Or, once again, perhaps David Brooks circa 2013 loathes David Brooks circa 2013 most of all: a man who has spent the last several years desperately trying to outrun the vicious, partisan tripe on which the David Brooks of 1988 and 1997 and 2000 and 2006 built the career which furnished the David Brooks of 2013 with everything he ever dreamed of: fame, fortune, real power, vast spaces for entertainment and, of course, the comfortable, hand-stitched, glove-leather, lumbar-massaging New York Times column in which he now sits, spinning round and round randomly potshotting at the various manifestations of an anonymous caricature-amalgam all of which look disturbingly like David Brooks.
Brooks even mocks the "Thought Leader's" "cries for civility and good manners."  Why you might even think that Brooks had won some sort of Award for Civility himself.

I'll go with "Cry for help," for 500, Alex.  As Charlie Pierce notes:

He's in there, officer. I can hear him talking but he won't answer the door. Is that gas I smell?"

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