Alex Massie

Who’s Not Coming to Dinner?

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Christ, I'm glad I* don't eat at the restaurants Thomas Friedman frequents:

So, I have a confession and a suggestion. The confession: I go into restaurants these days, look around at the tables often still crowded with young people, and I have this urge to go from table to table and say: “You don’t know me, but I have to tell you that you shouldn’t be here. You should be saving your money. You should be home eating tuna fish. This financial crisis is so far from over. We are just at the end of the beginning. Please, wrap up that steak in a doggy bag and go home.”

Of course, maybe he's right... Still, Friedman says that "What ails us right now is as much a loss of confidence...as anything else." Now, sure, he's only a newspaper columnist and has, one supposes, a duty to call it as he sees it. But still, as perhaps still the most influential pundit in the country (even if his star has waned a little in recent years) you'd think he'd also appreciate the impact his own doom-laden sermons might have. That doesn't mean one would recommend a Panglossian approach, but still... Ah well, at least irony and archness are back.

*Of course, I probably no longer count as young. Sic transit gloria etc etc.

[Via Rod, who took Friedman's advice and canceled lunch.]

UPDATE: I should have thought of this. Thanks to commenter Ben for asking, "Does he [Friedman] go into bookshops and tell young people they should put down that copy of "Hot, Flat, and Crowded" and go to the library instead?"

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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