Can you feel me near you?
The Moustache of Understanding -- he who has been profoundly wrong about everything from the nature of the free market (from Thom Hartmann) ...
Had South Korea adopted the "free trade" policies espoused by [Thomas] Friedman and The New York Times, it would still be exporting fish and still have a per-capita income like Kenya's.
Another great example of this is Toyota's success with their luxury car the Lexus. Toyota has been touted by free traders as a clear example of why free trade works, mostly because of the widely cited example outlined in Thomas Freidman's book The Lexus and the Olive Tree.
But again, at a closer look, the reality is the opposite of what Friedman naively portrays in his book. In fact, Japan subsidized Toyota not only in its development but even after if failed terribly in the American markets in the late 1950's. In addition, early in Toyota's development, Japan kicked out foreign competitors like GM.
Thus, because the Japanese government financed Toyota at a loss (for roughly 20 years), built high tariff and other barriers to competitive imports, and initially subsidized exports, auto manufacturing was able to get a strong foothold and we now think of Japanese exports being synonymous with automobiles.
... to foreign policy, and so spectacularly and publicly wrong about Iraq and the Bush Administration that blogger Atrios named the infamous "Friedman Unit" after Tommy-boy (From the dkosopedia)...
"The term is a tongue-in-cheek neologism coined by blogger Atrios (Duncan Black) on May 21, 2006, in reference to the discovery by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) of journalist Thomas Friedman's repeated use of "the next six months" as the time period in which, according to Friedman, "we're going to find out...whether a decent outcome is possible" in the Iraq War. As documented by FAIR, Friedman had been making these six-month predictions since November 2003.)
-- was back again.
Not that he'd ever been away, of course -- The 'Stache That Wouldn't Die
is the billionaire, Neocon centrist nose-tackle of the Fightin' Villagers journalism All Star team -- but he was on my teevee again for reasons that no one in the American media has the nerve to come right out and admit.
He had brought his moth-chewed, maudlin, context-free brand of wide-eyed, breathless know-nothing reportage on matters which would already be obvious to the averagely bright eleven-year-old back to the Cholly Rose show.
Which, believe it or not, marked a staggering 66th appearance
for Captain Obvious on ol' Cholly Rose's Soft Ballin' Dance Party.
And he was pushin' a new book.
Not a new-new book, mind you.
An old book, (I think it might have been called "Rot, Scat and Shrouded", but I couldn't clearly make it out over the sound of me cursing God) but Tommy Friedman wants you to know that he has rewritten the entire front end. The first three chapters? Redone! Now with 35% more cliches, maudlin tripe and saccharine homilies apparently gleaned from reading Bazooka Joe comics and other, smarter people...and just in time for Christmas!
So Joy to the World.
One assumes that if the quality-arc of his writing continues along the same trajectory, his next book will consist of a Kindle-downloadable series of McDonald's cash register-type icons which, when pushed, will extrude little poo-ribbons of Friedmanistic wisdom.
You'll be able to buy it at the convenient, regional Hypermall that his wife's real estate company will have helpfully erected on the rubble of your local mom-and-pop story, and then your real fun times can begin. After that you'll be able string your oven-fresh Friedmanistism together into epigrammatic one-act Noh playlets if you wish. Or play 'em like guitar chords ("My baby done left me/'cause my world's too flat/at least that's what she heard/from some billionaire twat"). Or mix and sample them for the blissed out masses writhing on the dance floor at the nation's now-abandoned Hypermalls in the frenzied, all-night Moustache Raves that are surely in our future.
The only limit will be your imagination, but sadly that's all still in the happy, sparkly Tomorrow.
Here and now you still have to made do getting your Fried Green Conflatos the same place as the rest of us: on the editorial page of the New York Times, at the Mouse Circus, in every book story in Christendom, and of course on The Cholly Rose show, where Captain Obvious may have finally given up wearing his signature creepy, all-black Vietcong/Star Trek villain unitard
but where he is still to be found, as in the days of old, hoppin' and poppin' and squiginfiying like somebody had shoved a particularly itchy baby olive tree up his ass.
One of the first thing Friedman wanted us to know is he's thinking about stuff.
One of the next things Friedman wanted us to know during this 66th appearance on the Cholly Rose Show was that:
"Afghanistan is like adopting a special needs child."And no, I am not kidding.
This is when the world started going a peculiar shade of dove-gray and I started losing track of time, so I cannot be specific about the exact moment, but at some point after that Friedman went on to say that he didn't "want the moonshot of my generation to be trying to fix the most dysfunctional Muslim country in the world." Forgetting, somehow, that the moonshot of Thomas Friedman's generation...was the fucking moonshot.
Later, as I began to lose consciousness from my brain burrowing out of my skull to escape the freakish horror unfolding before me, I could swear I heard Friedman chirp out the phrase, "Up yer nose with a rubber hose!", in response to some issue over which non-Thomas Friedman Americans are currently fighting and dying far away from home.
As I passed out, it occurred to me that Cholly Rose is a pretty tall guy.
Plenty tall enough to kick Friedman's nads all the way up into his tummy, even from across his interview table.
And yet for some reason he didn't.
Instead he made a series of complicated clicks and hand gestures that I believe translates from Bohemian Grovian into:
"Please come back on my show soon for a 67th appearance to insult my viewer's intelligence. Perhaps next time you could spend an hour reading us the labels on whatever happens to be in your underwear drawer?"