Times columnist/globalization cheerleader Tom Friedman is in China. So too is Observer editor Tom Scocca, who decides to attend a lecture given by the Moustache of Understanding. The result, currently available in intermittent bursts on the Observer's remarkably unreliable website, is one of the most brutal, satisfying takedowns we've seen in some time. We've no value to add to this piece save to direct you to it, but here's a quick sample:
The language was flourishy to match: "Beijing, Bangalore and Bethesda" ... "from Canton, Ohio, to Canton, China." Metaphors flourished themselves into trouble. "What these steroids do is turbocharge all these new forms of collaboration," Mr. Friedman said. Also: "Mother Nature always bats last.""Whatever can be done will be done," Mr. Friedman said. "Will it be done by you or to you?" He repeated the question. By you or to you? He told a story about going to Hungary and being driven around. His driver had asked him—"Mister Tom, Mister Tom"—to refer friends to him, if they visited Hungary. The driver, Mr. Friedman said, had given him the U.R.L. of his Web site: a hired Hungarian driver with his own Internet presence. Imagine!Scocca ties the whole thing up with a Friedmanesque flourish that is a thing of beauty. It's not often that we enthuse about things over here, but (provided the Observer 's crap-ass servers allow) we recommend that you go read this immediately.
Earlier: Gawker's coverage of Tom Friedman