What makes the column still more revealing and sad is that, far from serving up an older but wiser man's humility, it recycles what Brooks has been saying quite often since even when he was younger and, one might have hoped, less cynical.
The history of psychiatry is a history of fad diagnoses that come out of nowhere to capture much more attention than they deserve. Current fads are distinguished only by the billions of dollars spent by powerful commercial forces to create and push them.
It's end of the year honors time, here in the media, and with it comes another round of remembering the most dubious political achievements of 2013. Over at PolitiFact, that means it's time for the "Lie Of The Year" -- a dishonor they've been bestowing since 2009, without managing to particularly discourage people from lying. There are years where PolitiFact whiffs rather badly, but this year, they get a lay-up.
Little boys and girls in Catholic schools all across the world are still being taught that homosexuality is "intrinsically disordered." And Catholic teachers have been removed from jobs simply for exercising their rights as gay Americans. I haven't heard the pope weigh in or stop it, while many other people are actually fighting the fight for them.
For his actions, Snowden should be applauded, not vilified. He should be granted full immunity from prosecution. And he should be allowed to resume his life in the United States as a proud American citizen.
It's weird how Republicans seem to love the Democratic parts of the health care law but aren't so keen on the Republican parts of the law. But I suppose that's where guys like Hannity come in: to twist and distort reality so that these uncomfortable and irritating truths don't get injected into his audience's epistemic bubble.
Was Hitchens' incredulity acerbic and coarse? Irreverent and obscene? Depends on your tastes and sensitivities. More importantly, these qualities were imbedded in charm and wit that set up the discussion of religion in a way that awoke our reflective capacities.
The historic interim agreement between the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran over its nuclear dispute is not just about enrichment, centrifuges and breakout capabilities. Ultimately, it will help determine who and what will define Iran's foreign and domestic policies for decades to come. Will it be the security-oriented, confrontational and internally repressive orientation preferred by the Iranian hardliners? Or will the more cooperative, moderate and win-win approach favored by President Hassan Rouhani and the majority of the population take root and prevail?
My friend commented, "I'm so sick of people bragging about how charitable they are." So what if they brag? Good for them -- as long as it translates to dollars spent on worthy causes. We brag about everything else we do, so why not add charitable giving to that list?
News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper's CIA coverage are left in the dark.
It is, to say the least, a huge honor that for me ranks right up there with the Oscar and the Palme d'Or at Cannes. The National Film Registry is a slightly rarefied list of movies in the history of cinema.
In the early 1990s the media identified an existential threat: violent crime. But violent crime was actually on the decline in the early '90s -- including a 4 percent drop from 1993 to '94. Thus journalistic malpractice led to policy malpractice, with consequences we continue to live with today.
Really? In a year full of LGBT rights milestones, it's Pope Francis who's the "person of the year," simply for pulling slightly back from Benedict's bigotry? We're handing out accolades because someone makes us feel hopey-changey?
Each of these photos -- some straight from the newswire, some bobbing to the surface via social media -- represent a deeper kernel of disclosure, novelty or poignancy about the year's top stories.
The best columns I ever read -- and ones I remember for their common sense ideas, written in common-man language -- were penned by veteran newspaperman Charley Reese.