How to Rip a new one.

Thomas Friedman, he of Olive Trees and Lexus’ without steering wheels, has a new book out. The title? Hot, Flat, and Crowded. I’d write a review of it, but you really can’t do any better at it then this.

Friedman frequently uses a rhetorical technique that goes something like this: “I was in Dubai with the general counsel of BP last year, watching 500 Balinese textile workers get on a train, when suddenly I said to myself, ‘We need better headlights for our tri-plane.’” And off he goes.You the reader end up spending so much time wondering what Dubai, BP and all those Balinese workers have to do with the rest of the story that you don’t notice that tri-planes don’t have headlights.And by the time you get all that sorted out, your well-lit tri-plane is flying from chapter to chapter delivering a million geo-green pizzas to a million Noahs on a million Arks. And you give up. There’s so much shit flying around the book’s atmosphere that you don’t notice the only action is Friedman talking to himself.

It’s a fun read, and if, like me, you think the value of Thomas Friedman’s opinion is *slightly* over-inflated and his ideas overly simplistic, you’ll definitely enjoy gems like this:

Thomas Friedman is not a president, a pope, a general on the field of battle or any other kind of man of action. He doesn’t actually do anything apart from talk about shit in a newspaper. So in my mind it’s highly relevant if his manner of speaking is fucked.

(H/T Abu Muquwama)

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2 Responses to How to Rip a new one.

  1. Loping Squid says:

    That’s good. I’ve somehow managed to avoid reading very much of Friedman, although I have The World is Flat sitting on my bedstand right now. It’s been there about a month and a half and I keep finding ‘better options.’

  2. fastnav says:

    I think there’s tons of better options. I kept seeing Lexus and the Olive Tree on the bookstand in the store, but also found better options to read.

    Next up is “Team of Rivals” about the “political genius of Abraham Lincoln.” It’s all the rage here in DC, so I thought I’d give it a go. A bit stout though, we’ll see how long it takes.

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