The 2013 edition of Salon's annual Hack List is out, and this year, Salon hackmaster Alex Pareene has stirred the pot of hackery by "channel[ing] each hack's unique voice" and "let[ting] them 'write' their own entries." [more inside]
"When I visited China in 1998, Mbantu, the cabbie who drove me from the airport, couldn't stop telling me about how he had to take a fourth job because of the high cost of transportation. I caught up with Mbantu in Shanghai last year. Thanks to China's reformed approach toward transportation, Mbantu has enough money in his pocket to finally be able to afford a playground for his kids."--Thomas Friedman column generator
I was of course already familiar with the general characteristics of Friedman’s writing—hubris, clichéd jingoism, Orientalism, favoritism of Israel, self-contradiction, a severe handicap in the realm of metaphor construction, reduction of complex phenomena to simplistic and baseless theories. However, reviewing three decades of his work made it clear just how frightening, as opposed to simply laughable, it was that such a character had accrued three Pulitzer Prizes and risen to the position of journalistic icon at the US newspaper of record.
- Interview in Jadaliyya with Belen Fernandez on her (new to me) book critiquing NYT columnist Thomas Friedman, The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work. [more inside]
Why this election is so disappointing... Opposite today's New York Times' 30-column-inch endorsement of John Kerry, Thomas Friedman makes a good case that several of the most important issues are not being talked about by either candidate in any serious way.
"In the history of the world, no one has ever washed a rented car." Analyzing the writings of NYTimes' Thomas Friedman. via atrios
Friedman quotes a former Swedish prime minister. "Our defining date is now 1989 and yours is 2001," I find this to be true. For most of the 90's, the US struggled to find a new purpose for its power. A few peace-keeping missions, a skirmish in Iraq (the first time), but for the most part, no real global strategy. Europe, on the other hand, has made significant progress with developing the EU, the euro (which no one believed would ever come about so quickly), and a semi-unified policy concerning the rest of the world (GB being the notable exception). NY Times
How Will we know America is winning? Thomas Friedman poses six questions against which to judge US success...
The lecture Thomas Friedman gave at SAIS a few days ago. A longer form, very interesting and informative explanation of what he's learned post-Sept. 11th about the Middle East. Windows Media video and Real video and audio all available.
Suicidal lies (NYT) "The Palestinians are so blinded by their narcissistic rage that they have lost sight of the basic truth civilization is built on: the sacredness of every human life, starting with your own. All they can agree on as a community is what they want to destroy, not what they want to build. Have you ever heard Mr. Arafat talk about what sort of education system or economy he would prefer, what sort of constitution he wants? No, because Mr. Arafat is not interested in the content of a Palestinian state, only the contours." (more inside)
A Grand Narrative "When Hindus kill Muslims it's not a story, because there are a billion Hindus and they aren't part of the Muslim narrative. When Saddam murders his own people it's not a story, because it's in the Arab-Muslim family. But when a small band of Israeli Jews kills Muslims it sparks rage — a rage that must come from Muslims having to confront the gap between their self-perception as Muslims and the reality of the Muslim world." Thomas Friedman looks for an angle and finds a story! What role, if any, does narrative consciousness and social psychology play in the Middle East? (via blogdex :)
Another excellent editorial by Thomas Friedman. "I have no problem with nation- building in Afghanistan, but what I'm really interested in is nation- building in America — using the power of Sept. 11 to make our country stronger, safer and a better global citizen in the world of Sept. 12, beginning with how we use energy." (nytimes.com Member ID: metafi, password: metafi)
It's the Democracy, Stupid Quick hit from Middle East expert Thomas Friedman on why democracy matters in the Middle East, and by extension why democracy-building is one of the US's best weapons there. Starts out with a news quiz: "Name the second-largest Muslim community in the world. Iran? Wrong. Pakistan? Wrong. Saudi Arabia? Wrong." (NYT link)
Let the American Boycott of CO2-Denying Corporations Begin Great Op-Ed Piece in the NYTimes by T. Friedman: Using the Market to Defeat Republican's Kyoto Dismissal: Mega-dittos Rush!