And ninthly One might also say: Surely the owner of the visual room would have to be the same kind of thing as it is; but he is not to be found in it, and there is no outside - Ludwig Wittgenstein
If Thomas Friedman's mustache understands so damned much, then why is America's soccer program such an embarrassment? This question has plagued me ever since the World Cup started, and it should plague you too.
On one hand, the US deserves congratulations for fielding a squad that has crept into the top ten of world soccer team rankings. Our soccer team is composed of seventh-tier athletes - those that couldn't make football, baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf and track teams - and manages to compete well against the best athletes churned out by other countries.
But, dear god, have our immigrants ever let us down on the soccer front.
Look back to the Winter Olympics where the US finished second in the medal count to Germany. Our snow-themed athletes fall around the eleventh-tier of US sporting talent, somewhere behind bowlers and professional poker players. And yet with little more than yuppie parentage behind them, these athletes were able to make a mockery of countries such as Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
On the soccer pitch, the score is much different. The US team fell miserably to the tiny Czech Republic. There's simply no excuse for such a disgrace.
Under Friedman's program, this disgrace should never happen. We live in a well-greased world where talent defies borders and empowered countries that embrace globalization reap rewards. The sharing of knowledge through majestic processes such as open source development, outsourcing and sweatshops will create a more level playing field among the embracers and cripple the embracer nots.
Huge congratulations go to Friedman for profiting off such an obvious notion. The journalist codified a process that has been taking place since the wheel was invented and wrapped it in buzzwords to keep squishy minds happy.
But how then can Friedman explain away our dismal soccer team without sacrificing his mustache of understanding?
The US has spent the last 300 years hoarding foreign talent with a particular emphasis in the last 50 years on securing aid from Mexicans, Guatemalans, Brazilians and the list goes on. It's these people that should have turned the US into the ultimate soccer powerhouse. They, however, failed us.
The main reason for our soccer woes is that the status quo is more powerful than all of Friedman's touchy-feely gobbledygook. And, I actually think Friedman understands this more than he lets on.
Friedman's entire "the world is flat" pitch is nothing more than a confirmation that those who are in power will remain in power. He gives the illusion that hard work and "progressive" policies can make a winner out of a loser, but that's crap.
The line tossed out by Friedman and friends really serves as more of a distraction for the underprivileged. They're encouraged to think that a globalized version of the American Dream is theirs for the taking. But the American Dream never really existed in the first place.
More recently, Friedman has worked to extend his illusions to touch the global warming front. We caught him this week making an appearance on the Daily Show where a caricature of Jon Stewart grabbed Friedman by the midsection and went in with mouth gaping.
"We are close to breakthroughs on solar," Friedman said with a twinkle of the mustache. "I am actually most excited about solar from looking at China, Jon."
"I think the richest man in China is actually a solar entrepreneur. They are not waiting for us."
Here we go.
"I think the quickest, scalable solution - because most of our oil consumption is from cars and trucks - is if we had a $1 a gallon gasoline tax. It would, I think, explode innovation around hybrid technology and alternative energy."
"Imagine if we had a dollar per gallon gasoline tax. We called it the 'Patriot Tax.'"
"It's as though you manipulated my emotions. Well done," Stewart guffawed with his mouth still half-full.
While hiding behind a veil of inanity, Friedman managed to push forward a more subtle agenda.
His "concern" for global warming and energy consumption is nothing more than another ruse. After all, the only reason we want to prevent global warming is to maintain the status quo. Serious weather change in the US, Australia and Europe would ruin the God given gifts we've enjoyed for centuries. Nothing has backed the success of these nations more than their natural bounties and comfortable climes.
Would Africa really turn into a desert should temperatures rise or is there an outside chance that it would actually become a continent full of lush, productive landscapes and rich people?
Friedman cheers China and champions the idea of innovation coming from around the globe to thwart global warming. In reality, however, he cares only about the status quo and maintaining it.
Here are three guarantees. The US soccer team will forever stink. Western nations will not let global warming happen. And Thomas Friedman will go down as the most anti-globalization, pro-status quo pundit in the last decade. ®
Otto Z. Stern is a director at The Institute of Technological Values - a think tank dedicated to a more moral digital age. He has closely monitored the IT industry's intersection with America's role as a world leader for thirty years. You can find Stern locked and loaded, corralling wounded iLemmings, developing strong Mexican engineers, masticating beta culture, booing our soccer team, following Jimmy Wales, nursing an opal-plated prostate, spanking open source fly boys, wearing a smashing suit, watching Dead Man, dropping a SkyCar on the Googleplex, spitting on Frenchmen, and vomiting in fear with a life-sized cutout of Hilary Rosen at his solar-powered compound somewhere in the Great American Southwest.