Tuesday, May 03, 2005

sadly necessary salvos, cont.

Commonplace Book:
With Friedman and his ilk, you get something even worse than Orwell had to contend with: a kind of pre-fab cutesiness and familiarity, the advertising-inflected version of Orwell's own plain style. But that's because Friedman is advertising. Just as the marketers of candy bars can't say, We've wrapped a rectangle of toxic shit in shiny paper and you should pay us for it, so too Friedman can't say, You, reader, are well and truly fucked by the global order, unless of course you're one of our readers in a higher income bracket, in which case, you might take up guilt as a pastime this summer. You know, people might cancel their subscriptions.

But it would also be harmful if they could think their way past Friedman's manifest assertions to their latent meanings, so the cover of idiotic language is needed. Oh, okay, version 1.0 shrunk the globe to a medium and then version 2.0 shrunk it to a small; globalization must be a kind of regularly updated drier that purposely malfunctions! Does Friedman deliberately use this language to confuse his readers or is it symptomatic of his own confusion, of the effect of poor language upon him? I suspect the latter, but that's ultimately between him and God, so let's leave the question.

(Following up on a previous post or two.) Here's Juan Cole for those still not convinced.

You don't need a weafpherman to know which way the wind blows...

Then again, such very fatherly, masculine seriousness and expertise may be an attempt to compensate for something or other.

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