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Thursday, September 18, 2014

David Brooks, "Startling Adult Friendships": Do You Want to Go to Friendship Camp?

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

- Groucho Marx

Care to spend next summer in a David Brooks friendship camp? I kid you not!

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Startling Adult Friendships," subtitled "There Are Social and Political Benefits to Having Friends," David Brooks contemplates "what I would do if I had $500 million to give away." Observing that friendships give rise to better judgment, better versions of ourselves and better behavior, Brooks "envision[s] a string of adult camps or retreat centers (my oldest friendships were formed at summer camp, so I think in those terms)." He concludes by explaining:

"The goal of these intensity retreats would be to spark bonds between disparate individuals who, in the outside world, would be completely unlikely to know each other. The benefits of that social bridging, while unplannable, would ripple out in ways long and far-reaching."

Great idea! Let's send President Obama to a friendship summer camp together with a member of the Tea Party and a knife-wielding ISIS killer. I wonder who would walk away sane? More to the point, who would walk away with his head?

Thanks, but I think I'll just read a book with (not inside) Arnold.


  1. Well, our dear beloved Brooks isn't original. Our dear beloved Generalissimus (Stalin) who plastered the entire Soviet Union with "Druzhba Narodov" and "Miru Mir" and was fond of gathering the thugs of the world for "friendship congresses' preceded him.
    I am not American born and don't understand ... Why do Americans call this garbage ... journalism?

  2. Hello Arnold! Anatolian Shepherd? Still in NATO :)

    JG: you should know that the current fad in USA advertising is to include a dog. Even the NYT ends their tv commercials with a Golden Lab carrying the NYT - a sign of desperation to rely on cute dogs.

    As for the Brooks Friendship Solution? What happens when your friends stop talking with you because they believe the false media narrative about Gaza?

    As if any American "camp" circa 2014 would be safe for Zionists...