The piece, which appeared in T, the Times’ style magazine, described Brook’s jaunt on a new round-the-world tour created by Four Seasons for well-heeled clientele. For $120,000, participants can travel around the globe for 24 days on a private jet, stopping off at Four Seasons locations in cosmopolitan centers like Tokyo, New York and Marrakesh.
During his trip, Brooks faced challenges like being forced to accept two complimentary bottles of champagne from hotel staff at the Four Seasons Istanbul and having insufficient time to reflect on a Rembrandt painting he was struck by at St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum. Though he was impressed by the amenities, overall, he seemed to find the experience wanting.
“Sometimes money allows you to see too many things, too quickly,” Brooks writes. “Sometimes if you seize all the opportunities your money affords, you may end up skimming over life and nothing is deep enough to leave a mark.”
According to Brooks, most of his fellow travelers were "rich but not fancy," meaning they were "socially and intellectually unpretentious."
Somehow, this struck Brooks as a flaw.
"They treated the crew as friends and equals and not as staff," he writes. "Nobody was trying to prove they were better informed or more sophisticated than anybody else. There were times, in fact, when I almost wished there had been a little more pretense and a little more intellectual and spiritual ambition."
Needless to say, his article was ripped to shreds by the Internet within minutes of going live. Here are some of the best reactions on Twitter.
David Brooks spent several hundred words complaining about his $120,000 vacation
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) November 13, 2015
— Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) November 13, 2015
In which David Brooks complains that rich people are dilettantes and that he is not while on very expensive holiday https://t.co/gCv1DW6byk
— Ted Han (@knowtheory) November 13, 2015
Black kids protesting. White middle class dying. What can we do to be on pulse of nation? I know, let's send David Brooks on $120K vacay...
— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) November 13, 2015
David Brooks went to college for two years pic.twitter.com/9YnmXey91H
— Luke Brinker (@LukeBrinker) November 13, 2015
Shorter David Brooks: pic.twitter.com/8Qex7HN0Ki
— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) November 13, 2015
This right here is a primal scream of unquenchable despair. pic.twitter.com/NsKcCTvzeR
— Ned Resnikoff (@resnikoff) November 13, 2015