If you, too, specifically seek to read pieces of writing that you know will be depressing if not dangerous, then there's nothing better than a Thomas Friedman column's opening paragraph that runs with either a misleading anecdote or confusing extended metaphor. Today's the latter! Let's take a gander at this sumbitch. It is about golf.

As we know, President Obama has been playing some golf this week at Martha's Vineyard, specifically to get his mind off politics for a measly few hours. Friedman's advice: He should keep playing golf, constantly, but not to refresh himself — nay, to drive himself even crazier about what to do with these goddamn Republicans in Washington. It is only through this, Friedman concurs, that he will learn to save America.

Or something like that?

Despite the carping by critics, I'm glad the president went on vacation because one of the most useful things he could do right now is play golf - a lot of golf - but not that friendly foursome thing with his aides that he usually does. No, real golf: Match play, head to head, with real money on the line. Match-play golf is a great teacher. As any good golfer will tell you, the first rule of match play is this: Never play not to lose. Do not wait and hope for your opponent to make a mistake. Always play the course, always play to win and always assume your opponent will do well - will make that long putt - so you have to do better.

In other words: Be better at dealing with Republicans, by becoming a gambling addict.

The column literally ends with a recommendation for Obama to watch the 1996 Kevin Costner film Tin Cup.

We'll go a step further: Next time you have John Boehner in the White House for a sit down, put on a tape of the 2000 Matt Damon-Will Smith golf classic, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Will Smith isn't just any old caddy. He's a dead ghost caddy. He knows his stuff. He knows putts and sand shots, but also the lessons of life. Watch 64, 66 minutes of this. Then turn to John Boehner, kick him in the shin, and demand economic stimulus. This is hardball, Obama. Play or get played.

[Image via AP]