Things I learned at UC-Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall last Friday night:
- Thomas Friedmas has lost the ability to communicate in normal human language; now he speaks only in weirdly polished anecdotes and soundbites.
- Maureen Dowd is bangin’! Seriously man. I know she’s like 50 or something but still.
- Dowd keeps up a casual correspondence with George H. W. Bush. He emails her with critiques of the Times. That’s cute.
- Friedman had an off-the-record chat with George W. Bush about the war in Iraq. I’m not exactly sure when. His interviewer asked him: “And he wanted that to be off the record because…?” to which Friedman replied, disingenuously I think, “I have no idea!”
- Dowd on Saudi Arabia: “The Saudis are sort’ve a weird… bifurcated… sick society.” That’s the kinda pundit-class pronouncement I like!
- Dowd on Al Gore: “At least he was into modernity!”
- Friedman on Friedman: “Going to the Arab world with Tom Friedman is like going to the mall with Britney Spears.” (Okay, he was quoting someone else, but still.)
- Friedman explaining some ridiculous thing from his book: “Plug and play! Compete, connect, and collaborate!” [with the polished ease of a man who’s been on TV one… too… many… times]