Monday, January 30, 2006

Flat People

NASSCOM Chairman Som Mittal

Very rarely do books climb to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list so quickly and remain there for so long that their publishing house is able to include “National Bestseller” on the hardcover edition.

However, this is just what happened to Thomas L. Friendman’s geocorporate (Is this a word? Not according to Microsoft Office. Seems like it should be.) globalization study The World is Flat.

Friedman is unabashedly pro-big business, (Walmart’s much-criticized policy of locking poor Sam and Wilma Hickock from Fairmount, Tennessee, a town I just made up, in the building after closing hours so they won’t be tempted to smoke cigarettes outside or drive to a 24 hour McDonald’s instead of stocking the home appliances section is dismissed by the author as nothing more than a misjudged attempt at cost-cutting.) but he does manage to present the confusing early years of the 21st century in a clear and concise way.

Among the things you will learn in The World is Flat is that the dot-com bubble burst actually served as a spring board for globalization, rather than a deterrent, as most people believe. The millions of miles of fiber optic cable laid ‘round the world has now allowed Ikshu Patel of Nagpur, India to work 19 hour days without a lunch break for an American Software company while the rich, lazy American youth migrate to New York City in a misguided attempt to become actors and spend their unemployed days writing ridiculous blogs for no money about things they don’t really understand and that only a handful of people will read anyway. (Hi Mom.)

Also in the book, Friedman outlines the global policies of America’s increasingly anachronistic political parties and suggests a future course. Once upon a time in America, the Whigs and the Socialist Worker’s Party (which still exists but more in theory than in practice) were replaced by expanded versions of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Now, Friedman suggests, we must make way for the political parties of the future, the Wall Party and the Web Party. (This dude is nothing if not literal.) In his view, the Wall Party will combine the interests of socially conservative Republicans who want the damn Towel Heads to go back to their damn country with the currently deflated interests of American Unions who would like the damn Mexicans to go back to their damn country. This Wall Party will butt electoral heads with the Web Party which, according to Friedman, will combine the interests of the corporate elite, who want the damn Mexicans and Towel Heads to do their damn work for them, with the interests of the social liberals who want the damn hillbillies and rednecks to respect Mexican-Americans and Indian-Americans, as well as the Hollywood liberals, who are basically a bunch of fags that want to love everyone.

These two movements will create policies that eliminate foreign borders and pave the way for a concrete corporate takeover. (Picture a map of the world which denotes the interests of invested capital (i.e. Starbucks country) in place of territorial borders.) This has already happened in The Sunshine State where the Disney Corporation has established it first colony, Celebration, Florida. (For the residents of this toon town, fake snow is manufactured in the winter time and fake joy is manufactured all year.)

The 21st Century has barely begun and already we’ve seen many exciting and profitable developments. No one knows for sure where this amazing journey will lead, but one thing that is certain is that it will be piloted by mainstream American business, which has proven time and time again that it has the personal interests of private citizens close at heart. (See Wikipedia entrees: “Whiskey Rebellion,” “Slavery,” “Plantations,” “Industrial Revolution,” “Railroads.” “Sweatshops,” “Union-busters,” “Boss Tweed,” “Corporate Manslaughter,” “Clearstream,” “ExxonMobile,” “Harken Energy Scandel,” “Tobacco Industry,” “Refco,” “Enron,” “Worldcom,” et al.)

It’s gonna be one sweet ride.

(P.S. There are millions of puns with the word "flat" in them. Got one, Jer? Leave it in the comments section.)


At 1:01 PM, Anonymous heath said...


At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

more please

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think first world nations are going to end up Flat Broke.

And then the world will be flat. Until then the wealthy are just stealing from one market and selling to another while gaining massive profits. This flatlines small startups because they can't compete.

It's all a big lie based on paper money that has no real value.

The best thing that can happen is that our economy will flatline in the next two years so we all live in poverty together. One giant flat world full of hunger, starvation and out of work poor serving corporate thugs who love to push the average person into the gutter so they land flat on their backside.

That is the realistic future. No happy days for our flat world. Only flat out hatred for everyone and everything.


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