“Welcome to World War Wired — the first war in a totally interconnected world. This will be the Cossacks meet the World Wide Web. Like I said, you haven’t been here before.”
“The musician and actress Selena Gomez has twice as many followers on Instagram — over 298 million — as Russia has citizens. Yes, Vladimir, I can hear you laughing from here and echoing Stalin’s quip about the pope: ‘How many divisions does Selena Gomez have?’”
“I know, I know, Vladimir, you don’t care.”
-Thomas Friedman, “We Have Never Been Here Before,” New York Times
Greetings, it is I, Thomas Friedman, eating a tuna melt, on a bit of ecstasy. The 12 most dangerous words in the English language are: “She’ll be coming ‘round the mountain when she comes.” Hello, it’s me, I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet. Pull up a chair, dear listener, for I have a sea shanty I would like to tell you, a shanty mcshanty shanty for the ages.
Listen closely: There is the internet and the internet has wires, which are parallel and go backwards to the 18th century, but also forwards, where the future is nigh. This is the first war which will be covered on Tiktok, but also in a hard chocolate coating that melts in your mouth but not in your hand. What shall we do with a drunken sailor early in the morning? You have never seen this play before, and you have never seen the way the jungle has tanks but also has wires and moving images and is animated by the holy spirit and something called the electric. And there is history, such as General Tso’s chicken and Chicken Kiev. And don’t forget Kung Pao chicken, the most egregious, which has altered the power balance of heaven and earth, tierra y fuego, peanut butter and jelly. Welcome to the jungle. Let it insulate us from your madness. Watch it bring you to your sha-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n knees, knees, I wanna watch you bleed. Watch this space.
I find myself asking, does man make the money or does money make the man? Does Vladimir Putin glow in the dark? Does he shine bright like a diamond? And now for some statistics: There is a trade deficit of approximately $30 million Selena Gomez non-fungible tokens, because she is popular and she will not let you into the Grammys anymore, and very empowered Poland knows it. Xi Jinping is buying 50 million tons of barley from the muffin man. Do you know the muffin man? Don’t mumble.
For all these reasons, at this early stage, and the dilemma is, indeed, if you ask me, the long run is a long way away, I’d say the most dangerous thing is: Vladimir, I can hear you laughing from here. Never before in the history of time. With Xi, but his mic is muted. Vahladimeeeerrr, you, you pariah, you bad boy, you internet boytoy, you simmering flimflam, you hamhanded bandman, you cold hearted tin can, you mean mannered slimslam, you murderous skimskam! We have never seen this type of dream, we have never been here before, we have never had this type of war, ohhhh Vladimir, we have never come so far, we can’t turn back again, you lift me up, you give me wings. WORLD WAR WIRED!!