David Brooks Tries To Understand Bacall

New York Times columnist David Brooks had quite a week: first, he (and his supposedly liberal colleague Gail Collins) showed why they admire Hillary Clinton‘s war-mongering foreign policy views: it’s so refreshing to have a tough, weapons-loving woman in contrast with weak Barack. Next, Brooks took on Bacall (and Bogey and Raymond Chandler). Bacall, of course, was a proud liberal who, I can assure you from having spent time around her, loathed most of the political views of such as Mister Brooks. The columnist writes of the movies based on Chandler novels: ‘At a cynical moment when many had come to distrust institutions, and when the world seemed incoherent, Bacall and Bogart created a non-self-righteous way to care about virtue.’ Most experts in noir would say the exact opposite: those characters are connoisseurs of cynicism. It’s just cynicism with a witty, world-weary twist.

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