« It would be like letting a chimpanzee loose in the NORAD control room »

C’est une citation d’une critique – what else? – du dernier (God willing) livre de Thomas Friedman, rédigée par Matt Taibi. Vous, je ne sais pas, mais j’adore les critiques rosses, surtout quand elles s’attaquent à un grand-prêtre du journalisme, de l’idéologie ou des sciences humaines. Pour ceux qui seraient bienheureusement ignorants de Thomas Friedman et de ses déjections débiles, disons que c’est un mélange de BHL, Mustapha Alaoui, Fahd Yata et Alain Finkielkraut, avec un zeste de Pascal Bruckner, une pincée de Mohamed Hassanein Heykal et une tranche de Jean-François Revel – bref, c’est l’équivalent outre-Atlantique de l’équipe éditoriale de L’Economiste, dont j’ai eu l’occasion déjà de vanter les mérites.

Bon, ça date un peu, mais je viens de tomber dessus et trouve cela irrésistible:

Let’s speak Friedmanese for a moment and examine just a few of the notches on these antlers (Friedman, incidentally, measures the flattening of the world in notches, i.e. « The flattening process had to go another notch »; I’m not sure where the notches go in the flat plane, but there they are.) Flattener #1 is actually two flatteners, the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the spread of the Windows operating system. In a Friedman book, the reader naturally seizes up in dread the instant a suggestive word like « Windows » is introduced; you wince, knowing what’s coming, the same way you do when Leslie Nielsen orders a Black Russian. And Friedman doesn’t disappoint. His description of the early 90s:

The walls had fallen down and the Windows had opened, making the world much flatter than it had ever been—but the age of seamless global communication had not yet dawned.

How the fuck do you open a window in a fallen wall? More to the point, why would you open a window in a fallen wall? Or did the walls somehow fall in such a way that they left the windows floating in place to be opened?

Four hundred and 73 pages of this, folks. Is there no God?

Matt Taibi est un récidiviste, ayant déjà épinglé Friedman au sujet de Boris Eltsine:

On the one hand, Friedman said, Putin’s Russia can no longer be called democratic. On the other hand, Boris Yeltsin’s version of democracy was a failure. This is the sentence that came next — emphasis is mine:

And on the third hand, while today’s Russia may be a crazy quilt of capitalist czars, mobsters, nationalists and aspiring democrats, it is not the totalitarian Soviet Union.

Even in remission, genius is genius. How do you get around the natural mathematical limitations of the construction, « On the one hand…but on the other hand… »? After all, we humans only have two hands. You or I would never have thought of it, but Friedman knew instinctively — just add another hand!

PS: Le NORAD? C’est ça.

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