Okay, it's not quite that funny but this article by New York Times barnacle David Brooks is one of his more absurd. Not because what he's saying is necessarily out there - the passiveness of bystanders is one of those heavily-studied psychological phenomenons we're all pretty ashamed of - what's ridiculous is that David Brooks is saying it!
Riding out on his high horse to lecture the plebes - the only thing he seems to do anymore - Brooks declares without a shred of cognitive dissonance that "Some people suffer from Motivated Blindness; they don’t see what is not in their interest to see." Really, Dave? Kinda like how you see Manhattan yuppie culture as the be-all-end-all?
“[Bobos] are the new establishment….When I use the word ‘establishment,’ it sounds sinister and elitist. Let me say first, I’m a member of this class, as, I suspect, are most readers of this book. We’re not so bad. All societies have elites, and our educated elite is a lot more enlightened than some of the older elites, which were based on blood or wealth or military valor. Wherever we educated elites settle, we make life more interesting, diverse, and edifying.” ~ David Brooks, Bobos in Paradise
Now, better men than me have pointed out how that statement is factually wrong but it bears repeating that Brooks is engaging in just the sort of "Motivated Blindness" which he condemns in others. In fact, you could argue that such willful ignorance of unpleasant realities is the leitmotif of everything Brooks writes.
Brooks is quite clearly in love with his own class privilege and has made himself a career out of scribbling out lofty sounding defenses of the system which produces it. He shrugs off #OWS as "milquetoasts" - such an egregious Marie Antoinette moment that it's a testament to the New York Times' rapid decline he wasn't sacked on the spot, let alone printed. He praises Mitt Romney for picking up the tired old "slash entitlements" meme that's been a staple of the GOP for thirty years, boosting it as some bold new idea. And when people call him on his bullshit, he runs and hides behind his privileged position as a New York Times columnist by blocking not just all dissenting opinions, but all opinions period.
David Brooks accusing others of not seeing what they find unpleasant is more than just hypocrisy, it's all too common these days in a culture that seems to have no conception of shame. Brooks is horribly wrong all the time, but his wrongness comforts his six-figure readership who insist they're "middle class," so he's allowed to continue - promoting the motivational blindness of the privileged every week and getting paid more than you'll see this year.