Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tom Friedman Takes Irony Out Back

And beats it so bad with a bag of oranges it'll never shit straight again.

The single most trite, overpaid, overrated, vastly-below-average hack working in the American media today --

-- has this advice for the Great Unwashed (emphasis added):
I’ve been arguing for a while now that “average is over.” It has to be when every boss has cheaper, easier, faster access to software, automation, robots, cheap foreign labor and cheap foreign genius that can produce above-average so easily. Everyone needs to find their unique value-add, their “extra,” and be constantly re-engineering themselves if they want to obtain, or advance in, a decent job that can’t be digitized.
Words fail.  Even the durdee ones.

Actually, the Mustache of Understanding declares four English words to be dead-dead-dead --
And those words are “privacy,” “local,” “average” and “later.” A lot of what drives today’s news derives from the fact that privacy is over, local is over, average is over and later is over.
-- at least three of which -- like "average" -- he pretty clearly does not understand.

For example, "local", as we ordinary humans understand the word is not over at all. In fact, from thousands of Buy Local groups around the country to local agricultural and environmental sustainability movements, to economic development initiatives specifically targeted to strengthening local economies, "local" is doing great.

But of course, The Mustache of Understanding does not operate at the level of normal humans at all, so he can't see the local solar panels on your house, or the bees your restaurant keeps, or your local park's composting project or the community gardens your local "Eat Healthy" activists are setting up to teach people the work and pleasure of tilling the soil.  The Mustache of Understanding sails high above all that, bestriding the narrow world like a Colossus, and we petty nitpickers walk under his huge legs and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable blogs.
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
"Privacy" is also an incredibly important issue, but only the Mustache of Understanding would use the Donald Sterling case -- a wealthy asshole saying horrible shit on the record to his whorechivist ™. who then outed him for it -- as the platform from which Tommy launches his maundering. Dear Tommy, here's a free pro-tip from me to you: the story of a rich douchbag being ruined by his arm-candy out of spite it not a symptom of the hoi polloi's loss of privacy in the 21st century; it is a rejected plot for "Perry Mason and the Case of the Loquacious Racist" circa 1963.

Also, the Time's fact checkers really let down their readers when they let this paragraph go to print:
Which is why it is not surprising that I now often hear regular people — not high government officials — saying to me in conversation: “This is off-the-record.” Huh? What are you secretary of state?
Dear New York Time's Editors,
Two things.

First, I get that among the moguls and magnates with whom the Mustache of Understanding usually breaks bread and shares Big Terrible Ideas, people Simply Do Not Get Fired for an offhand remark, no matter how horrible asinine because accountability if for little people.  However outside of those rarefied circles it happens all the time.

Second, the Mustache of Understanding clearly doesn't know any "regular people". Maybe if he did, at least one of them would try to stop him from make such an ass of himself in print once in a while.
It's been known to happen.


steeve said...

"Later" is a fine word too.

The republican party has been insane for years. But, when it comes to the media actually reporting that fact as vitally-important breaking news, later beats the hell out of never.

Later is also a good time to report the fact that socialized medicine delivers great health care for half price. Somehow they skipped over that when we had a supposed "debate" on health care.

Redhand said...

Ah, yes, the Mustache of Understanding: the absolute Master of pull-it-out-your-ass social theorizing tied to word definitions given their own special spin by the Master himself.

It is indeed ironic that the stupid bastard wouldn't last a nanosecond gainfully employed if the grand rules he lays down for others applied to him. He hasn't changed or had an original thought in decades. It's just the same old Friedmanesque word salad, tossed again and again and again and * * * *

Kathleen said...

Dear NY Times Editorial Staff: "off the record", are you hiring former Onion writers to ghostwrite columns?

Sigh. I guess I'll take my average self under my desk, assume the fetal position, and just die for God's sake.

JerryB said...

...and we've only got six months to do this or the mustache gets it!

Yastreblyansky said...

at least three of which -- like "average" -- he pretty clearly does not understand.

You think he may have studied math with Garrison Keillor?

Cliff said...

The man's a walking TED talk, and as such all my local UUs lurve him to death.

That's the part that really gets me: certain people are granted a reputation of intelligence (like Paul Ryan and Newt Gingrich) and it sticks to them like shit-stink on a sewer-rat.

Unsalted Sinner said...

That man has three Pulitzers. Which tells you just how much that "honour" is worth. It also proves that the Friedman Op/Ed generator could win a Pulitzer any day now: