Slay David

David-Brooks.jpgThink you can make David Brooks laugh at himself in the Magazine’s column-parody contest? He’ll be the judge of that.

In Friday’s New York Times, David Brooks, AB’83, muses about the marriage of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, expressing confidence where most observers foresee further journalistic decay. Brooks senses a society sobering up amid economic calamity. He believes NewsBeast could be the voice of a new, more serious middle-American mind.

“There must be room for a magazine that offers an aspirational ideal to the middle manager in the suburban office park, that offers a respite from the deluge of vapid social network chatter, that transmits the country’s cultural inheritance and its shared way of life, that separates for busy people the things that are enduring from the things that aren’t.”

That’s just the kind of mildly contrarian culture-mining readers have come to expect from Brooks. There’s much more: in the space of 806 words he finds room for Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Foster Dulles, Georgia O’Keefe, even Robert Maynard Hutchins. It’s a classic Brooks-style column.

A style ripe for parody, you might say. To gauge just how ripe, the Magazine created a David Brooks Column-Parody Contest. Readers are invited to submit their best Brooks impressions in 500 words or less. Brooks himself has agreed to select the winners.

Please send your entries by January 1 to The writers of the best parodies, to be published in the Mar–Apr/11 Magazine, will receive a signed copy of a Brooks book.

Jason Kelly

November 22, 2010