David Brooks smoked weed.
That bombshell forms the spine of a circuitous argument in which the New York Times columnist opposes new efforts by states such as Colorado and Washington to legalize the dank stuff. It’s not that Brooks’ had any particularly damaging personal contact with ganja — aside from a post high English presentation in high school (video of this needs to exist).
Rather it was a vague sense of promise unfulfilled and shame that led Brooks and his buddies to put down the pipe, brush away the smoke clouds and emerge as the conservative pundit that coastal liberals tolerate. Instead of kicking back with “Cheech & Chong,” there were dazzling displays of mixed metaphors to be written. After all, it’s hard to liken a political campaign to “American Idol” and boxing AND gang warfare while in a drug-induced haze.
“Many people these days shy away from talk about the moral status of drug use because that would imply that one sort of life you might choose is better than another sort of life,” Brooks writes. “But, of course, these are the core questions: Laws profoundly mold culture, so what sort of community do we want our laws to nurture?”
That’s probably a good question to raise, but the take away is still an image of a youthful David Brooks lighting a spliff.
Or as Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan writes, “Might this question have weighed on the lifted, paranoid minds of David Brooks‘ youthful friends, all those years ago: ‘Will this dude grow up and write a New York Times column about this shit one day?'”
What’s the old adage? Write what you think you know?