Thomas Friedman…

joins the big shark jump. But today’s column opens a career escape hatch for him: political enlightenment for youth. In the spirit of this pathbreaking opus, imaginary speeches in the voices of Obama and Boehner, I anticipate the next step:
“See the big meeting, Dick! Run, Dick, run, so we can sit in front!”
“I see the meeting, Jane! What a nice meeting, with donuts on the table in back. Let’s listen!”
“Oh my” says the big bad wolf, “I will be a good wolf and not eat pork, lamb, and grandmothers. We should all be friends now.”
“We are sorry we made witch rôti” says Hansel, “and eating her candy house gave us tummy aches.”
“We all have to live together happily in the forest,” said Goldilocks, “and I will clean up the bear house and take baby bear to his music lessons all next month.”
“Napoleon is happy Snowball back from Mexico. Happy Napoleon. Happy animals!”
Everyone clapped for the new Grand Bargain and had a big hug.

Dick fwows up. Jane fwows up. “Jane, if you ever drag me to something this puerile again, I will throw your goddam red ball under a steamroller. Are you nuts, or on crack?”
[fixed link 10/VIII, sorry]

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

13 thoughts on “Thomas Friedman…”

  1. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

  2. On the one hand: A happy meal of fruit loops soaking in a bowl of kool-aid.
    On the other hand: I feel empowered. Apparently anybody can write for the NYT…
    On the third hand: Any analogues for this goofball back in 1859?

  3. First, Friedman jumped the shark decades ago.

    Second, any time that you see an otherwise lying MSM pundit stating the truth, it’s a temporary failing on their part.

    Seriously, how many hundreds of times can somebody spout BS and lies in your face before you figure out what they are?

  4. KLG:

    Thank you for those links. Taibbi’s skewering of Friedmanese gave me the biggest laugh I’ve had in YEARS. (I think I must have read it when it first appeared, but it was still very refreshing.)

    Not the funniest bit by any means, but perhaps the key takeaway:

    “Friedman *is* an important American. He is the perfect symbol of our culture of emboldened stupidity.”

  5. Perhaps the most depressing thing about that column is that it probably embodies Obama’s fantasy, too.

  6. @KLG–my thanks as well. Used up three Kleenexes rereading these for the third or fourth time.

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