David Brooks loves Woody Allen?

My friend David Grinspoon noticed that New York Times columnist David Brooks, in a column last week, appears to have re-written a joke from Woody Allen.

Brooks: “One path before us leads to the past, and the extinction of the human race. The other path leads to the future, when we will all be dead. We must choose wisely.”

Woody: “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.  The other, to total extinction.  Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

I like Woody’s version better.

You can’t quite call this plagiarism, but you couldn’t really say that Allen merely inspired Brooks either. The quotes are too close to being identical.

I asked Brooks and the Times’ ombudsman, Clark Hoyt, about it, but they didn’t respond to my emails. I’ll call Brooks next week.



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