Saturday, January 17, 2009

Taibbi does it again

When it comes to poking fun at Thomas Friedman, we here at Mustache of Understanding remain mere amateurs when compared to Matt Taibbi, whose 2005 takedown of Friedman in the New York Press remains by far the finest work in the genre. And now he's done it again. Taibbi's earlier piece, "Flathead," came on the heels of the publication of Friedman's last book, The Word Is Flat. His latest anti-Friedman rant, "Flat N All That," takes on the mustachioed marvel's newest collection of mixed metaphors, non sequiturs and self-aggrandizing anecdotes, Hot, Flat and Crowded. I'm tempted to provide you with all my favorite lines, but I'd highly encourage you to read it all for yourself. It's just that brilliant. (You can find it here.)

Well, OK, one quick teaser:
Just when you begin to lose faith in America’s ability to fall for absolutely anything—just when you begin to think we Americans as a race might finally outgrow the lovable credulousness that leads us to fork over our credit card numbers to every half-baked TV pitchman hawking a magic dick-enlarging pill, or a way to make millions on the Internet while sitting at home and pounding doughnuts— along comes Thomas Friedman, porn-stached resident of a positively obscene 114,000 square foot suburban Maryland mega-monstro-mansion and husband to the heir of one of the largest shopping-mall chains in the world, reinventing himself as an oracle of anti-consumerist conservationism.

All right — one more, because I just can't help myself:
How about Friedman’s analysis of America’s foreign policy outlook last May: "The first rule of holes is when you’re in one, stop digging. When you’re in three, bring a lot of shovels.” First of all, how can any single person be in three holes at once? Secondly, what the fuck is he talking about? If you’re supposed to stop digging when you’re in one hole, why should you dig more in three? How does that even begin to make sense? It’s stuff like this that makes me wonder if the editors over at the New York Times editorial page spend their afternoons dropping acid or drinking rubbing alcohol. Sending a line like that into print is the journalism equivalent of a security guard at a nuke plant waving a pair of mullahs in explosive vests through the front gate. It should never, ever happen.

No comments: