By Ryan McGreal
Published April 19, 2007
In the guise of a critique on Tom Friedman's recent feature article in the New York Times, Kunstler lays bare the central conceit of our age: the idea that we can continue indefinitely to get something for nothing.
He does this in customary Kunstler style: incisive logic, irreverent discourse and acerbic wit delivered on a foundation of factual analysis that demolishes Friedman's delusional policy framework.
It's longish (around 1,500 words) but an indispensible read if you want to cut through the magical thinking that continues to prevent our civilization from planning for the future.
From natural gas to globalized retail and suburban sprawl, Kunstler kicks out the shaky legs that hold up Friedman's "flat" world and reveal him as a clueless sycophant, too long coddled in the embrace of the powerful and self-serving.
Tom Friedman has no idea what the implications are of all these things. His fatuous advice to the nation - served up by a confused and cowardly Times editorial staff - will only spur more delusional thinking, which is, of course, the last thing we need.
The showcasing of Friedman's article may represent an inflection point in the fate of the mainstream media - the moment when it demonstrates most clearly its failure to make current events comprehensible, the moment when its lost legitimacy is finally recognized.
That legitimacy has been passing to the Internet, where commentators have no advertisers to pander to and no need to defend any status quo. [paragraph breaks added]