Tuesday, September 15, 2009

David Brooks on Our Self Congratulavie Culture

David Brooks is a columnist from the N.Y. Times. He is very insightful and witty as well. The excerpt below is from a column he wrote pertaining to how our country has gone from a humble and modest country to one full of ego driven, me-centric self worshipers.

I agree that the rise of the self-esteem "savior" has led to a generation and culture full of self lovers that are very vocal about it. However, I do not want to have a "good ole days" mentality. Brooks talks about the humble that came out of WWII, we also must remember that this humble nation had seperate schools for whites and blacks. We need to learn from the past, good and bad, that means taking of the rose colored glasses of our current era and past eras as well.

Here is an excerpt from the Column:

Today, immodesty is as ubiquitous as advertising, and for the same reasons. To scoop up just a few examples of self-indulgent expression from the past few days, there is Joe Wilson using the House floor as his own private “Crossfire”; there is Kanye West grabbing the microphone from Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards to give us his opinion that the wrong person won; there is Michael Jordan’s egomaniacal and self-indulgent Hall of Fame speech. Baseball and football games are now so routinely interrupted by self-celebration, you don’t even notice it anymore.

This isn’t the death of civilization. It’s just the culture in which we live. And from this vantage point, a display of mass modesty, like the kind represented on the V-J Day “Command Performance,” comes as something of a refreshing shock, a glimpse into another world. It’s funny how the nation’s mood was at its most humble when its actual achievements were at their most extraordinary.
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