Not too long ago, I received an email from a friend directing me towards a review of Friedman’s book, Hot, Flat and Crowded, published in 2008. Four years on, and the review still gets folks laughing out loud regardless of where they are (and hitting the reply button as fast as they can to spew their views), and wondering to themselves why they buy into his bs. I buy into it because it’s easy to read, has catchy titles that tell you nothing at all about the content of the article (for example, “Syria is Iraq” — !?!?!?!), and because his horrendous sweeping statements about entire continents (like the one below) really gets my blood pumping (and an email chain going):

Every morning in Hanoi I walk around the pagodas on Hoan Kiem Lake, and every morning I stop by this little Vietnamese woman crouched on the sidewalk with her bathroom scale, and every morning I give her a dollar and weigh myself. That woman and her scale, probably her only possession in life, pretty well sum up Asia today

No, you A-hole, that does not in any way, shape, or form sum up Asia today or at any point in history… Beyond that, I do think some of what Friedman writes about has merit – even if he is one of the age’s most vocal arm chair critics, but this post is not about that. 

This post is about the fact that years after I’m out of college, I still have a pool of friends who I can connect with about things outside of work, love (or in some cases, a turbulent unsatisfying relationship), and the growing pains of trying to be an adult (mortgage so expensive, my folks are threatening to set me up with so-and-so, what the sh*t happened to my credit card bill this month, the going rate of angpows for weddings these days…)

In other words, a group of people that give a sh*t about sh*t — and I don’t mean whose on top of the EPL or the latest bag released by Celine (if you said “Trapeze”! Minus points for you, that’s SO last season). These people are likely to find the term “LOL” to be exceedingly annoying. Chances are, at some point of time in my relationship with these folks, we’re likely to have had a very deep dialogue about <insert topic of global importance here>, which others might call an “intense conversation,” “raging debate,” or “full blown argument.”

These people read (stuff beyond what’s on the best sellers list) and then they share, and because they do they keep me refreshed with their thoughts about the world at large, and sometimes very little local issues that matter. What I’m trying to say is that these people, they make me think.

To these wonderful people, please know that you have my love and respect. Because much like a Zombie, I like you for your brains :)

Happy Friday folks! Friedman fried on a pan article here.

It’s worth a read, and if you think it’s as funny as I did, hit the reply button and let me know ;)