Lazy Saturday

Another lazy link roundup:

Finally, the first LGM podcast is provisionally scheduled for publication the week of January 14, and will concentrate on “The Hobbit.” Updates as they come.

48 comments on this post.
  1. Jonathan:

    How has the UN failed Congo every African nation in the entire history of the organization?


  2. Fred:

    That Friedman article has got to be the sappiest and most banal piece of editorial journamalism I’ve seen from him in years. It made me feel all fuzzy (and snarky, and fuzzy for being snarky) inside. Glorious.

  3. Hogan:

    (At this fine newspaper we’ve substituted a bunch of lazily written made-up shit for Thomas Friedman’s column. Let’s see if the readers can tell the difference!)

  4. Atticus Dogsbody:


  5. cpinva:

    when i first opened that link, i read “The Onion Page”, instead of “The Opinion Page”. not sure if there was much difference.

  6. J. Otto Pohl:

    Well they certainly failed in Rwanda if Linda Melvern’s account is to be believed and she seems to be quite credible.

  7. efgoldman:

    Constitution vs Java? Video or it didn’t happen.

  8. efgoldman:

    I read the first few paragraphs, saw at least four phrases for which my high-school creative writing teacher would have failed me, and I gave up.

  9. cpinva:

    the vegas line on this was HMS Java, by -3.5.

    The USS Constitution defeated HMS Java 200 years ago today.

    for those of you that have never seen the USS Constitution in person, it is a stunning sight. i saw it years ago, the first time i was ever in boston. i was about 12 at the time, and i was mightily impressed. it still looked like it could kick ass and take names.

  10. joe from Lowell:

    The UN is not an entity with agency of its own. The blue helmets go where they’re told to go, and do what they’re told to do.

    Blaming “the UN” for failures only helps to shift the blame away from the state actors who decided not to use the available tool.

  11. greylocks:

    The Onion is better-written and usually makes sense.

  12. Colin Day:

    Does this mean that Java is unconstitutional? It might make some programmers’ lives easier.

  13. Uncle Kvetch:

    Hee hee hee.

  14. Sly:

    I got as far as this sentence in the Friedman piece…

    freedom is an extraordinarily powerful idea: If ethnic conflict is Zimbabwe’s ironing board, then freedom is certainly its alarm clock.

    … and simply stopped to marvel at a pristine example of classic Friedmanese:

    “Predictably, Friedman spends the rest of [The World is Flat] piling one insane image on top of the other, so that by the end – and I’m not joking here – we are meant to understand that the flat world is a giant ice-cream sundae that is more beef than sizzle, in which everyone can fit his hose into his fire hydrant, and in which most but not all of us are covered with a mostly good special sauce. Moreover, Friedman’s book is the first I have encountered, anywhere, in which the reader needs a calculator to figure the value of the author’s metaphors.”

  15. Leeds man:

    Roméo Dallaire had a few words about that as well.

  16. Leeds man:

    The only thing in common between Friedman and Taibbi (apart from the fact that they both write in English, except maybe Friedman); given a few sentences, you know who it is.

  17. JoyfulA:

    I haven’t read any Friedman in years, and his cacophony of mixed metaphors reminded me of why I don’t, unless tricked.

    Now I have to go find out what happened in Zimbabwe yesterday, because he never did say.

  18. cpinva:

    true, that should have been a tip off right there.

  19. toma:

    The Friedman generator was excellent.

    –”Just call it missing the battle for the bullets.”
    –”Just call it missing the myths for the lie.”
    –”Just call it missing the shirts for the cloth.”

    One of those has got to be real.

  20. Mister Harvest:

    So, that Friedman piece was a parody, right? He didn’t actually mean that seriously, right? Please?

  21. Mister Harvest:

    Never mind; I missed the context entirely. Bravo! More coffee for me…

  22. Mister Harvest:

    If the Eighth Amendment means anything, it means no more Java programming.

  23. Warren Terra:

    Poe’s law is killing me here. This is about the third commenter convinced they’ve read a real Friedman column, or at least purporting to believe so.

  24. Leeds man:

    It’s a double reverse Poe’s Law with a twist.

  25. James E Powell:

    It would be very hard to write a parody that was as good as that. Doesn’t anyone at the Times see this? Isn’t it like so obvious that the people who clean the offices realize it?

  26. James E Powell:

    I totally fell for it, unless it was real, in which case I totally fell for it.

  27. Bill Cross:

    I think java and a poor constitution ends with an ulcer

  28. Bill Cross:

    a twist of 180 degrees

  29. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Here was one of my alternate articles:

    Let’s make America for the world what Cape Canaveral was to America: the world’s greatest launching pad. If I had fifteen minutes to pitch my idea to politicians, I’d tell them two things about prescription drugs. First, there’s no way around the issue unless we’re prepared to spend more: and not just spend more, but spend smarter by investing in the kind of human capital that makes countries succeed. That’s going to require some tax increases as well, but as they say, “Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.

  30. UserGoogol:

    It tricked me too, but yeah, it’s fake. When you look at the rest of the page aside from the article itself it explicitly says it’s a parody although it’s subtle enough about it that you can easily miss them if you’re in the habit of ignoring sidebars.

    The big green buttons generate new articles. The website does simple mad libs on about two templates, so some are more self-evidently silly than others.

  31. greylocks:

    I got lost right around where he started talking about Muppets.

  32. greylocks:

    Hey, it’s not C#. That should count for something.

  33. Erik Loomis:

    Suffice it to say that I will not be part of the Hobbit podcast.

  34. efgoldman:

    I was born in the Boston area, and lived there for most of my first 55 years. Yes, USS Constitution is a wonderful visit. When they take it out into the harbor every year to turn it around, even more so. (They put an alternate side against the dock, for even wear and sun.)
    When I was a kid, it was somewhat preserved, but just sitting there in the middle of a working Navy yard. Hell of a thing to get a bus full of kids through the area and back again. When the shipyard was closed in 1974, the property was properly deeded to the Park Service, which created the park and facility as we know it today.
    That area was industrial/blighted for most of my childhood. Now it is yuppie heaven, much to the dislike of the old townies.

  35. cpinva:

    i remain unconvinced.

    It tricked me too, but yeah, it’s fake.

    where is the bright line, between “real” friedman, and “parody” friedman? how can you parody parody?

    people want to know, dammit!

  36. Warren Terra:

    So what you’re saying is that not only are people’s ingenuous responses to a declared Friedman parody Poe’s law in action, Friedman himself has become an example of Poe’s law in action?

  37. rea:

    The Java used to be the Renommée before they renamed it . . .

  38. Leeds man:

    And the Parody was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

  39. Walt:

    Because you are a Hobbit nationalist offended by the way Hollywood has reduced your proud people to a stereotype of thievery and stuffed-shirtedness?

  40. Substance McGravitas:

    Sensitive souls need not contemplate beheadings.

  41. Walt:

    Erik knows all too well now what it would be like to be Smaug.

  42. Djur:

    I am exceedingly amused by how many people thought that was an actual Thomas Friedman piece. I think it’s madlibbed together from stuff he actually wrote, though, so I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising.

    But what this does tell me is that nobody looks at their location bar anymore.

  43. Djur:

    Perhaps this will be illuminating.

  44. manta:

    From the article “the UN has been stripped of what it does best, brokering a political peace process and has been reduced to what it is worst at––military protection.”

    I think the article is spot on.

  45. Halloween Jack:

    Just wait ’til someone cobbles together a Friedman TED talk generator and you have people puzzling over why his shirt seems to change from one shot to the next. (Unless he wears the same type and color of shirt all the time, in which case we’re golden.)

  46. Halloween Jack:

    …a lemon twist?

  47. Halloween Jack:

    …wait, Henry Louis Gates Jr. interviewing Quentin Tarantino? Holy shit.

  48. toma:

    Vishnu, that is funny. And eerie.

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