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David Brooks, serious typist for the TimesYes, by virtue of his New York Times column and his occasional PBS appearances, David Brooks has been qualified to teach something. And — get this — it is a class in HUMILITY. Which will be taught to the children of the 1% at Yale.  Everything about this begs to be made fun of.

According to the Yale course catalog, the class will examine the “premise that human beings are blessed with many talents but are also burdened by sinfulness, ignorance, and weakness.”

Sounds real specific, doesn’t it? We can’t tell if this is supposed to be anthropology or religious studies or philosophy or all three, not that David Brooks is qualified to teach anybody anything about any of those things. It is particularly funny given the “humility” that David Brooks exudes when discussing himself and others like him. From his book, Bobos in Paradise, as quoted (and explicated by) the Exiled:

“Bourgeois bohemians [BOBOs] are the new establishment….[and] I’m a member of this class, as, I suspect, are most readers of this book. We’re not so bad. All societies have elites, and our educated elite is a lot more enlightened than some of the older elites, which were based on blood or wealth or military valor. Wherever we educated elites settle, we make life more interesting, diverse, and edifying.”

[But] when he says that the Bobos make life more “diverse,” he isn’t talking about ethnic diversity, let alone intellectual diversity; he’s talking about diversity in styles of furniture or ethnic restaurants:

“The educated class has conquered all and hegemonized its Bobo culture…. Now the Babbitt lion can mingle with the beatnik lamb at a Pottery Barn, a Smith & Hawken, a Museum Shop, a Restoration Hardware, a Nature Company, a Starbucks, or any of the other zeitgeist-heavy institutions that cater to educated affluents. Today the culture war is over, at least in the realm of the affluent. The centuries-old conflict has been reconciled. “

NAILED IT! Rich people can buy things from all kinds of different chain restaurants and furniture and cookery outlets now. They share a sacred bond by virtue of doing so, and resolve some sort of centuries old conflict. This makes life more “edifying” for everyone involved, from the lowly sales associate to the mighty CEO.

So basically, it’s cool that David Brooks and these other elites are so very superior to the rest of us, because they trickle down on us and make us all better. Anyway, does David Brooks KNOW he’s a joke? Answer: not exactly.


“The title of the Humility course is, obviously, intentionally designed to provoke smart ass jibes, but there’s actually a serious point behind it,” Brooks told New York Magazine. “People from Burke to Niebuhr, Augustine to Dorothy Day, Montaigne to MLK and Samuel Johnson to Daniel Kahneman have built philosophies around our cognitive, moral and personal limitations. The course is designed to look at these strategies as a guide for life and politics and everything else.”

Yes, David Brooks, but is the “PROFESSOR” designed to provoke smart ass jibes? And can all of us share in humility, or just the BOBOs, who are uniquely burdened with the pains of having great taste in interior decoration? And may we recommend that you follow up with a course called “Arrogance”?

Also the course  has “no regular final exam,” so if you are reading this and you are at Yale, it will probably be an easy A.

Apparently it IS easy to teach at a fancy school like Yale or Princeton, which is what we were saying yesterday, and we are now that much more vindicated.


  • Callyson

    "You teach best what you most need to learn." ~ Richard Bach


    • actor212

      He's humbled every time he steps out of the shower and in front of the mirror.

      I mean, humiliated.

  • snowpointsecret

    Sounds like one of those courses football players take when they redshirted and want to play an extra year. Odd that it's at Yale, though.

    • BerkeleyBear

      Don't let anyone kid you, Elis take their D1AA football very seriously. Shocking how many not quite elite enough for D1A athletes get major "need based" financial aid packages in the Ivy Leagues.

      And generally speaking, the upper division at elite schools is rife with fairly easy courses if you know where to look – wouldn't do to flunk out someone who merited admission to such an amazing institution, don't you know.

  • Lizzietish81

    I know how to teach the 1%ers humility.

    Make them spend a year living on food stamps, working minimum wage. Assuming they live, they will have learned the value of humility and how fucking good they have it.

    • Barrelhse

      They might even allow others the dignity they deserve for just being here, trying to make it to the end.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    I'm humble, and fucking proud of it!!

    • carlosmuecke

      I'm humble too, and I have every reason to be!

  • prommie

    I would LOOOOVVVVEEEE to teach the Yalies humility! I would do it for free!

  • actor212

    No good can come of this

    • stefanbc

      My buddies at Brandeis who took Tommy Friedman's course came out hating him and everything that he stood for. So here's to hoping that Brooks pisses off an entire generation of Yalies into team hippy.

  • actor212

    He's going to show them the salad bar at Appleby's?

    • Lizzietish81


  • Barrelhse

    He's been whiffin' poof again

  • Maman

    So will this be Human Being and Citizen-, Form/Problem/Event- or Greek Thought-like?

    • malsperanza

      You're confusing Yale with that midwestern intellectual place, whatsitcalled, the Milton Friedman Institute of Unbridled Greed.

      • Maman

        That is the B-school. The College is a completely different animal.

        • malsperanza

          Also the Law School, home of various people named Posner and their charming law-and-econ chums. Someday maybe someone will give the College a $100 million endowment so it can lob snowballs with rocks in them at the Milton Friedman and Gary Becker Center for Insatiable Carnivorous Rapacity. Either way, Yale loses.

  • BaldarTFlagass
    • Maman

      Awww. Mac Davis.

    • billy_reuben

      Nailed it

  • snowpointsecret

    A man from North Carolina was on vacation in Boston and went to a bar. He met a local girl and asked "Do you go to Harvard?"

    She replied, "No, Yale."


    • OneYieldRegular

      A young student from North Carolina stops a Harvard professor on campus and asks, "Hey, where's the library at?"

      The professor, dismayed, looks down his nose and replies, "Young man, this is Harvard University. At Harvard University we do not end sentences with a preposition."

      The young student responds, "Ok, then where's the library at, asshole?"

      (We could do this all day)

      • noodlesalad

        At a basketball game between Yale and North Carolina, two fans went to the bathroom at the same time. After using the urinals, the Yalie headed for the sink, the Tar Heel for the door.

        "At Yale, they teach us to wash ourselves after using the restroom" said the first.

        "At UNC, they teach us not to piss on ourselves."

        (Or to hire David Brooks to teach humility)

    • SigDeFlyinMonky

      Two men were sitting at a bar. The first says "So you're a Yale man." The second responds "Why yes, I am. Does it show?" "No. I read your class ring while you were picking your nose."

  • Schmannnity

    Humility and David Brooks that does not involve a whip and branding iron applied to Brooks is not that interesting.

  • Rebootably_Joe

    I've never been so glad I never decided to accrue my student loan debt at an Ivy in my life. Seriously, shit be worthless.

  • SuspectedDemocrat

    human beings are blessed with many talents but are also burdened by sinfulness

    If there's two things you can develop at a university, it's talent and sinfulness

    • One_who_wanders

      I worked primarily the sinfulness part myself.

      • kittensdontlie

        I can tell you have a talent for it.

        • One_who_wanders

          Actually it is the result of years of practice.

  • BornInATrailer

    But will he be armed?

  • finallyhappy

    I'm an 'umble man, Mr. Copperfield.

    • schvitzatura


  • FNMA

    Now, class, after you kick the hobo in the ribs, it's prideful to then piss on his face. Piss on his shoes as a demonstration of your humility.

    And when your employees ask for something outrageous, such as the day off for Christmas, always say, Thank you for asking, after you tell them to go fuck themselves.

    Shit. I could teach the fuck out of this motherfucker.

  • MLHencken

    On the rare occasion I go to sbux, I do not talk to ANYONE. That place is filled with douchebags.

  • coolhandnuke

    "Professor" Brooks giving the future Masters of the Universe lessons in Humility.
    More like Thurston Howell lecturing Gilligan on yacht maintenance.

  • hagajim

    Can I just take the A now and become a BOBOner like Brooks?

  • ManchuCandidate

    David Brooks is best qualified to be teaching "Baby Tawk" At Greendale Community College in large part because the school flag is a perfect symbol of what he is (Hint: it's anus.)

    • SorosBot

      E Pluribus Anus indeed.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Little typo. The purpose of the class will not be to teach the students to know humility, but to teach them how to humiliate those lower on the ladder than they.

  • mormos

    Bourgeois bohemians

    He doesn't actually know what those words mean does he?

    • BornInATrailer

      I have to assume that the "BOBOs" thing he farted out is not actually a thing.

      • BaldarTFlagass

        Maybe he meant "bonobos." Because of all the shit-flinging.

        • BornInATrailer

          Given that class is bound to be an endless self-indulgent CJ, bonobos will do just fine.

        • actor212

          Bonobos do not fling shit.

          They toss feces. A little class, please.

          • Rebootably_Joe

            Aren't bonobos the ones that fuck, like, all the time?

            My point is that bonobos are basically the opposite of Bobo.

          • mrblifil

            Yeah plus buttsechs also too. So he's definitely telling us something.

          • Negropolis

            Yep, I think they are supposedly the only ther creatures on the globe beside ourselves that have sex for pleasure. In fact, sex is so rampant that it's often a greeting with them.

          • BornInATrailer

            And they do everything. The chick bonobos lez it up. For crying out loud, the dudes sword fight. Sadly and hilariously, I think this is why there are relatively few nature shows on them (because it goes porno with such frequency and innovation). And I believe the bonobo got sequenced recently and they are our 2nd most closely related relative, right behind the common chimp. IIRC, they supposedly split off from the chimp after we did.

    • Maman

      He understands those words as much as he gets the term "pseudo-intellectual"

  • Chet Kincaid_

    Will this fail as hilariously as Dame Noonington's class at Harvard?

    • MLHencken

      We can only hope.

    • sullivanst

      At least Hahvahd didn't see fit to have Her Nooningtonness teach Brevity.

  • DahBoner

    Yet another Conservative trying desparately to find some kind of "moral justification" for GREED…

    • Jukesgrrl

      Just don't ACT like you have money.

  • Goonemeritus

    Shorter syllabus description –“you better start acting like less entitled assholes or poor folks are going to rise up and take your shit”

  • elviouslyqueer

    You keep using that word "humility." I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • MLHencken

    If you want to teach Yalies humility, just make them walk down to the end of Whalley Ave. Or Edgewood.

  • AlaskaGrrl

    Yale wins the Nobel Prize in irony.

  • SayItWithWookies

    “People from Burke to Niebuhr, Augustine to Dorothy Day, Montaigne to MLK and Samuel Johnson to Daniel Kahneman have built philosophies around our cognitive, moral and personal limitations. The course is designed to look at these strategies as a guide for life and politics and everything else.”

    Yeah Brooks — but the good philosophers try to build a philosophy that applies to everyone equally, including themselves. For some reason I get the impression the Yalies are gonna come away with the idea that humility is for everyone else.

    • Chet Kincaid_

      I've seen a bunch of old movie clips and Doris Day didn't seem that humble.

  • petforest

    When I was at Yale we had Wm. F. Buckley to contend with. My, how the place has fallen.

  • SorosBot

    Who will they hire next, W. Bush to teach military strategy and disaster response? Sarah Palin to teach English?

    • Rebootably_Joe

      John Yoo to teach International Law?

      • SorosBot

        Come on now, no elite institution would be stupid enough to do that!

    • noodlesalad

      Mitt Romney to teach Communication?

      • Jus_Wonderin

        Or Social Sciences?

        • noodlesalad

          Or anything in the Human-ities?

    • ProgressiveInga

      Or Ken Mehlman to teach gay studies, oh wait, that's not ironic anymore…

    • Negropolis

      No, his course will be called Strategery.

  • SexySmurf

    Yale also announced they've hired Adam Lanza to teach a class in conflict resolution.

    What, too soon?

  • OneDollarJuana

    Sorry. You can't teach psychopaths to be humble.

  • Mumbletypeg

    Sorry David — I missed the part that instructs the privileged, culture-loving, transition-smoothing Generation Next how to create jerbs. Otherwise there will be *no* freakin adjoining population for y'all to 'diversify,' 'edify', nor for to pedantically "take an interest in"~

  • SayItWithWookies

    And David Brooks thinks of himself as a bohemian?! Why — because he lives in a city and has at least one wall that's exposed brick? That would be like me calling myself a rancher because I have two cats.

    • Hammiepants

      Marry me?

      • SayItWithWookies

        You're so sweet — but I'm spoken for, and by about the only person who could put up with me. So really, this is the best part anyway.

    • DahBoner

      Nose boop from my cat!

    • mrblifil

      No silly he calls himself a bohemian because as soon as the lights are off and the cameras put away he trolls the leather bars and receives deep prostrate massage until the wee wee hours of the morning (and I mean wee wee). Oh and also because he likes Puccini.

      Makes sense now right?

      • Negropolis


        Deep prostate massages FTW. lol

      • schvitzatura

        Bobo-ian Grove attendee…

  • noodlesalad

    Forsooth, genteel folk, Mnsr Brooks will merely be espousing the best way to communicate with the help without reverting to base Castillian Spanish or other such doggerel.

  • Pat_Pending

    *snerk* *chortle* heh-heh…heh.

  • FakaktaSouth

    What is wrong with people who get all the way to college before they realize they need to not act like they are better than everyone, so now they need a class on how to fake-like they aren't gigantic assholes? This is the most humble brag bunch of bullshit I have ever seen. Fuck all these people.

    • Chet Kincaid_

      I thought they went to college to learn how to be superior and get their superiority validated. But only the good colleges, not those godawful state schools.

  • edgydrifter

    For instance, when you're showing off the tan line under your wristwatch from your three-week stay at your vacation home in Saint Kitts to the cube drones back at HQ, don't mention that the watch cost more than their annual salaries. Humility, people!

  • OneYieldRegular

    Can a David Brooks anthology of pithy literary and philosophical passages entitled "Humility" and modeled after William Bennett's "The Book of Virtues" be far behind?

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Bobo na. Atook alunda Lana. Atook zug-zug Lana!

    • actor212

      Bobo doodoo

  • north_of_moscow

    I could teach that course. I'm awesome at being humble. The best, really.

    • actor212

      I'm so humble, I had my gold toilet painted over with black lacquer

      • Chet Kincaid_

        I'm so humble, I always have my Publicist turn off the flash when documenting me giving money to the homeless.

    • DahBoner

      Who's Number One?

      Why you are, Number Six…

  • An_Outhouse

    Rule #1: When they raise your yacht parking fee, don't turn off your Christmas lights. Just set up a deal where the rubes can get a quick tour of the boat for twenty bucks a pop. Use the proceeds for the rent.

  • DemmeFatale

    His kid worships John Boner.

    He's dead to me.

  • HRH_Maddie

    There's something immodest about teaching a class in humility.

  • HRH_Maddie

    Those who can't do teach.

    • DahBoner

      And those who can't teach, preach.

      • HRH_Maddie

        Ohh, I like that better. Take that, Brooks!

  • NorthStarSpanx

    Adrian Cronauer: I can't even make fun of Richard Nixon, and there's a man who's screaming out to be made fun of.

  • Hammiepants

    Wow, and here I thought college was for like, learning shit, rather than being told how not to act like an asshole. My bad.

    • Chet Kincaid_

      Both are necessary functions of education, but I don't think Brooks is qualified for either one.

    • Negropolis

      I thought college was for teaching you how to be an asshole.

  • Chet Kincaid_

    David Brooks' new class: "Don't Piss On The Pledges — Thoughtless Actions Now Could Give A Future President A Catastrophic Complex"

  • actor212

    “People from Burke to Niebuhr, Augustine to Dorothy Day, Montaigne to MLK and Samuel Johnson to Daniel Kahneman have built philosophies around our cognitive, moral and personal limitations. The course is designed to look at these strategies as a guide for life and politics and everything else.”

    What? No Jesus?

    Damned liberal…

  • mavenmaven

    Me, I prefer Boba. The milk tea one is really good.

  • Crank_Tango

    …and now I approve of concealed carry at Yale.

  • Antispandex

    And yet, still, no one will be teaching them responsibiltiy.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      You don't need it up there among the 1%

  • Tommmcatt_Again

    He's uniquely qualified to teach such a course. I've read some of the crap he's written and it's got to be humiliating to have your name attached to that shit.

  • smokefilledroommate

    Also the course has no regular final exam

    Lest they be humbled by it..

  • Chet Kincaid_

    Back when Northwestern football sucked all the time, their stirring Fan Fight Chant was, "That's all right, that's OK, you'll be working for us someday!!"

    • DahBoner

      The Chicago School of Shaddup.

    • Maman

      Was that when the real Monsters of the Midway were located in Hyde Park?

      • Chet Kincaid_

        That's Olden Times — I can't imagine the mole-like student body of U. of C. ever playing tackle football!

    • Negropolis

      That's tame compared to suburban high schools chant at city teams in Metro Detroit.

  • Blueb4sinrise

    Shove it up yer ass, Bobo.

  • Wilcoxyz

    In this class, students will master the difference between finger foods and hors d'oeuvres.

  • slithytoves

    Oh Christ, this is like every fucking "Special Topics" course that gets passed through curriculum committees. No quality control whatsoever. Good to know it's the same at Yale.

  • southernboyman

    Da pink tie perfesser….

  • Jukesgrrl

    His class will include a slide show of the Romneys shopping at Costco.

  • weejee

    From his book, Bobos in Paradise, as quoted (and explicated by) the Exiled

    Brooks needz to be Exiled on Main Street".

  • Doktor Zoom

    The course evaluations will be great: "Class would have been far more effective if instructor had reached out to moderates by adopting positions identical to my own"

  • seppdecker

    First lesson in humility – recognize that the education industry is no more of a meritocracy than the publishing or recording industries, or even government. If Yale had a Home Ec. class, Palin would be teaching it.

  • randcoolcatdaddy

    Yale is blessed with many things but is also burdened by political hacks posing as faculty members.

  • jello_mold

    Ugh. Nothing worse than a smug bastard who thinks he's humble.

  • Pat_Pending

    A pox upon humility, and a bubo for this BOBO…

  • Slim_Pickins

    When will his lectures be available on iTunes University?

    • Maman

      oh, please…..

  • Estproph

    Man, if this doesn't prove the old adage "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach" I don't know what does.

  • mrblifil

    Wears owlish glasses. Ties never optional. Blazer hemmed just so. Subjugates all primal urges except the desire for foods high in starch. Always prompt for cocktail hour.

    ——— A+++

    Professor Bobo

  • joeyblau

    I can't fucking believe it.

    why God? why!!??? I was okay when you killed my mother.. ditto with the girlfriend.. I was ok you forced me to use Windows 8, and that I only have a 36" TV… and killing all those kids was a dick move.. but but..

    this!!!???? why?

  • Chet Kincaid_

    David Brooks' new class: "Humiliation — Subtle Ways To Put Lessers In Their Place Without Causing A Scene Or A Kerfuffle With Human Resources"

    • Maman

      He did work in a coffee shop in college. He might know something about that. Though all his employees were work-study students

  • Slim_Pickins

    Now that he is an academic he can write on OpEd column on how hard it is to be a white male.

  • sullivanst

    To be fair to David the Serious Clown, if there's one group of people on this planet that might actually be able to learn anything about humility from him, it may just be found among the student body at Yale.

  • jello_mold

    The kids are learning how to fake act like they care, ok. Why do they care about acting like they care? What do they get out of it? They only hang with other douchebags like themselves. What's the point since in truth, their pretty little necks will never be in danger.

  • valthemus

    Is this one of those classes where the big celebrity professor never shows up and a hapless TA grades all the papers? I have to think that would be preferable to spending even two hours a week stuck in a room with David Brooks.

  • Wile E. Quixote

    And to think that this tragedy of these innocent students being exposed to David Brooks could have been avoided if only George Zimmerman had been standing at the gates of Yale, and if Brooks were wearing a hoodie, carrying a bottle of iced tea and a bag of Skittles and was looking all blah and shifty.

  • BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Huh. And all I learned in college was how to shotgun a beer.

  • Aridzona

    BoBo? I read that as BoZo.

    • gullywompr

      Bebe Rebozo?

  • docterry6973

    When I was at Penn State many moons ago I took a number of classes that have enriched my life for the past 40 years. I don't think this would have been one of them.

  • cousinitt

    David Brooks: winner, upper-class Twit of the Year Contest.

  • Troglodeity

    David Brooks is the perfect professor for a class on Humility. "He is a humble man, but then he has much to be humble about." – Winston Churchill

  • chascates

    He'll have to write a book on his experiences, like William F. Buckley's God and Upper White Class People at Yale.

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Sex Week at Yale sure has taken a downward turn.

  • Chet Kincaid_

    If MLK, Burke and Niebuhr were alive today, they would totally shop at Pottery Barn.

  • ttommyunger

    BOBO? I would say the Hon. Mister Brooks is more of a PENJO (Privileged Elitist Nebbish Jerk-Off).

  • azeyote

    i'm feeling sick – i think i'm gonna bobo on your lap

  • clecinosu

    Bobo? Try Bozo.

    Oops! Smart-ass jibe!

  • JackDempsey1

    new Yale motto:
    "It's not the elite; it's the humility."

  • ProgressiveInga

    A little late, but worth the wait from bf Matt Taibbi, "David Brooks….notorious diploma-sniffing aristocrat-apologist douchebag…":

    • GeneralLerong

      Thanks! Better than a shot o' bourbon.

      Or…hmmm…better with a shot o' bourbon. And a splash of bitters. And some ginger ale. Forget the ice, it just takes up valuable space.

      Hey! He's offering a fabulous prize! [stands aside as the smarter and wittier stampede past on their way to Matt's blog]

      Meanwhile, back at the bourbon…

  • TribecaMike

    I hope this doesn't mean he'll be cancelling his annual performance as Nestor The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey at Radio City Music Hall. It's a beloved Christmastime family tradition!

  • Negropolis

    According to the Yale course catalog, the class will examine the “premise that human beings are blessed with many talents but are also burdened by sinfulness, ignorance, and weakness.”

    Oh, so this is a course at Yale Divinity School.

  • Trinket

    Okay, I thought for a minute there this class was going to bring back the idea of noblesse oblige. Silly me.

  • lulzmonger


    Forty thousand bucks per lecture, same as in town.

  • jethrotoll

    Apparently being a good writer will not a pre-requisite for the course:

    "So I am planning to vote for George W. Bush because he is a nice guy. As a nice guy he will attract and retain the loyalty of outstanding administration officials, and together they will promote policies that are smarter and bolder than we ever would expect, just from looking at Bush himself. As a nice man, he will prove remarkably adept at working with Congress, with Democrats, with the media and with all the other different people you need to handle as president."

    David Brooks, c. 2000

  • Negropolis

    So, will one of the assignments consist of finding the best gourmet cupcake shops on Manhattan?

    • schvitzatura

      Thrifting in Williamsburg or DUMBO?

  • schvitzatura

    The first rule of Humility Club is you do not talk about Humility Club.

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