Did you ever wonder what would happen if Tom Friedman dropped acid and bumped his head against an imaginary desk during a series of duck-and-cover drills in a garage, with the doors closed, so as to better inhale the fumes from, respectively, a 1967 Plymouth Fury and a row of aerosol spray cans, followed by him spinning a 16-inch world globe—after having stripped to his skivvies—prior to entering the Star Gate from “2001: A Space Odyssey”?
Wonder no more, because Friedman’s latest column answers that question.
The column, which may be a film treatment or a reason for Friedman to seek treatment, is a stream of consciousness about the word deep. As in, “Everything is going deep.” By everything, he means . . . everything and everyone: digitization, connectivity, big data, A.I., China, Russia, Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, lifeguards, satellites, YouTube, and nuclear war. (Cut to Friedman in a karaoke bar, still tripping—and bleeding—in his ripped underwear, having left that garage and freed himself from a spool of razor wire atop a chain-link fence, where, microphone in hand, he screams the lyrics to his updated version of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”)
The column is many things, obviously, but deep is not one of them.
An unintentional PSA for drug prevention, perhaps; a reminder for Friedman to wear a medical bracelet, definitely, because he mixes metaphors the way a blind bartender mixes drinks: poorly.
The bartender has an excuse, whereas Friedman’s column is one. It is what his editor needs, so he can say to Friedman what readers have said for years—“No more!”
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