this says so much

Julian said tonight that he listened to a lot of books on tape while on rock ‘n’ roll music tour with The Pope. He liked it all except Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat which he correctly noted to be lame bullshit.

The best part? Friedman reads the book himself, and when he gets to India and is talking to the locals he reads their speech in his version of an Indian person’s accented English.

What. An. Asshole.

I can hardly wait until he gets to China.

12 thoughts on “this says so much

  1. Get Your Friedman On
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    alt=”Get Your Friedman On”
    title=”Get Your Friedman On”

  2. All you need to know about Tom Friedman is encapsulated in his mustache. If you are curious about the merits of ideas, take a look under the nose. If you wonder what role race or class presumptions play in his theories, let your eyes wander north of the upper Friedman lip.

  3. We may have to study Hinglish soon.
    I am a central-Europian limo driver in the Silicon(e) Valle, and I had good laugh when my Irish pax used to talk Indian English over the phone. Either he was kind to entertain me or just a very pragmatic person. Meaning, if his workforce (4000) speak that accent it is easier for him to change than the to pressure the 4000 to change. On the end it was almost as funny as a cute lady who I had to take home from SFO. That time I used to drive for a limo company that was 80 % japanase. So my boss and I standing at the International arrival (exit G). A lady, a black, a cute one, come to my sign, and she told us that: She is happy to see us, and shi is realy ready to go home. She was pregnant. My boss (a real japanase guy) started to smile with disbelieve. Nice try, but we waiting for Ms Suzuki he said. I am Ms. Suzuki she answerd. Then my boss switched to Japanase. He and the Black lady had a nice talk, and I took her home qickly to Berekly. She got a free ride from my boss.
    On the other day an arab gentleman was may pax. We rolling down on the hill side of San Carlos toward SFO. Narrow curly streets. Unfortunately a garbage truck is in front of us collecting garbage. My pax then collects all of his brain power, focus strongly and pronounce absolutely perfectly the only word he knows on my native language (baz+) Meaning I give him some discount for a good laugh.
    Using accent mean that a person spent some time to observe a culture. I just guess that it is not a disadventage if you know the mentality of the subjects of your book. I am not sure that we do not have to regret at one point that we did not take Mr. Friedman’s words more seriously.
    Japanese-Korean carmakers – GM-Ford.
    Chines textile- Us textil. (Levi’s no longer produce jeans in US)
    Asian chip industry- Us Hi-tech. (IBM in chines hand)
    American SW eng.- Indian SW eng. ( Ebay,Skype,Yodlee,Adobe)
    Only 15 % of US Citizens have passport, most of the foreign born. All US born business travelers stays in nice (chain) hotels, eats steaks and affraid to mix with the locals. Foreign travelers here try not to sleep, but observe everything, mix with the locals, experience the US. The world may not perfectly flat. Maybe Friedman’s book translate to B.S. to american readers, but wait and (you will) see (it too).

    1. Re: We may have to study Hinglish soon.
      I get your point, I think. You feel that someone who uses the accent has taken time and interest to look at the culture.
      In cultural context here in the U.S., talking in an imitated foreign accent is considered very insulting. It’s a kind of schoolyard mimic taunt that’s not socially acceptable, and particularly not for a professional journalist who presents himself as an authority on cultural differences.

      1. Re: We may have to study Hinglish soon.
        Maybe this guy has a point though. If we have a hang-up about reproducing accents, it’s because we unconsciously think that some accents are inferior or funny. Is it more honest to “fix” the accent to be neutral transatlantic?
        It all depends on context. Friedman has limitless fascination with ‘Western’ stuff in a non-Western context. Like seeing Pizza Hut and Java programmers in Hyderabad. The ‘accented’ version all things Western is his entire story. It may not be malicious, although it’s very dim-witted.

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