“Equipped with the right brains and education but wholly out of the habit of using them.” That was how H.P. Lovecraft described Robert W. Chambers in a letter to a friend.
I often think of this quote when reading Thomas L. Friedman’s columns. He has interesting ideas, but he also has extremely stupid ideas. On top of that, I’ve always found his writing style quite poor, though many people disagree with me on that.
Anyway though, I liked Friedman’s latest column, which imagines what it would be like if China’s cables were leaked via Wikileaks. This little thought experiment is rather interesting, even if he does play it mostly for humor:
“Americans are now fighting over how “exceptional” they are. Once again, we are not making this up. On the front page of The Washington Post on Monday there was an article noting that Republicans Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are denouncing Obama for denying “American exceptionalism.” The Americans have replaced working to be exceptional with talking about how exceptional they still are. They don’t seem to understand that you can’t declare yourself “exceptional,” only others can bestow that adjective upon you.”
Forgive me a bit of blogger vanity, but I’m glad somebody else pointed this out.