This raises the issue: Does the world need another Thomas Friedman parody? At this point literally every single Thomas Friedman column is itself a self-parody, and if that doesn't exhaust your appetite there's a website that generates still more parodies automatically. It is possible that Friedman himself uses that site to create a column when he's feeling rushed, which would explain how this managed to make it into the paper.
But Pareene took an extra step by asking: You know how people love to complain about how awful Thomas Friedman is? What would their complaints sound like if they were written by Thomas Friedman? Here is what he came up with:
When I was in Singapore, I talked to hundreds of Asian college students, business people and diplomats, and while none of them said this to me, exactly, it's basically my thesis and so I'm going to put it in quotation marks as a sort of "distillation" of things I probably was told by people: "Is everything going all right over there in America? How could the people who gave us Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, H.P. and Google also have so many people, many of them in positions of authority, who take a clown like Thomas Friedman seriously? Most of his columns are just nonsensical buzzwords he's been repeating for literally 10 years and his foreign policy analysis is usually either incredibly facile or actively offensive to Arabs and Muslims. It's actually terrifying how influential he is. Like it legitimately makes me despair of anything improving anywhere in the world for anyone but the super-rich. Also there is probably some Times rule about not putting ‘distilled' quotes in quotation marks, right?"
When I heard that—or rather when I didn't hear it but when I wrote it, just now—I thought "we're gonna need a bigger boat." And that boat better have Wi-Fi.
Friedman-bashing aficionados can read the rest here.