Hirsute-lipped Sesame Street character Thomas Friedman, America's most respected newspaper columnist, does not "have it easy," just because he lives in a sprawling mansion and holds a job that consists of rewriting the same exact column over and over again every week, merely substituting different—but equally trivial—anecdotes gleaned while looking out of the window of a car, train, or airplane in which Thomas Friedman rode on his way to meet some business person.

No. Thomas Friedman has to go through some shit.

I had to catch a train in Washington last week. The paved street in the traffic circle around Union Station was in such poor condition that I felt as though I was on a roller coaster. I traveled on the Amtrak Acela, our sorry excuse for a fast train, on which I had so many dropped calls on my cellphone that you'd have thought I was on a remote desert island, not traveling from Washington to New York City. When I got back to Union Station, the escalator in the parking garage was broken. Maybe you've gotten used to all this and have stopped noticing. I haven't. Our country needs a renewal.

Man sees pothole, has cell phone call dropped, encounters out-of-service escalator. This is literally the opening paragraph of Thomas Friedman's newspaper column today, published on the op-ed page of The New York Times, the world's most influential newspaper.

Should Thomas Friedman just fuck off? Or what?

[NYT. Photo: Getty]