Tom Friedman has just listed Five Scary Possible Events, four of them being Security Threats From People With Skin Darker Than Tom Friedman. So who does Tommy turn to for validation that the dark and scary is closing in? Corporate strategy consultant Peter Schwartz. If you're going to use a completely useless, made-up identifier like "corporate strategy consultant," why not give Peter Schwartz a title that actually suggests expertise in what your talking about? Why not call him "global terrorism expert" Peter Schwartz or "security consultant" Peter Schwartz?
We need all the cushions we can get right now, because we are living in a world of cascading and intertwined threats that have the potential to turn our country upside down at any moment. We do not know when the next Times Square bomber might get lucky. We don’t know how long the U.S. and Israel will tolerate Iran’s nuclear program. We don’t know if Pakistan will hold together and what might happen to its nukes. We don’t know when North Korea will go nuts. We don’t know if the European Union can keep financing the debts of Greece, Hungary and Spain — and what financial contagion might be set off if it can’t.“It is not your imagination,” says corporate strategy consultant Peter Schwartz — there is a lot more scary stuff hanging over the world today.
But even better is the fact that Tommy introduces Peter just to say: "It is not your imagination." Huh? Who the hell is Peter Schwartz and what is he doing in this column? Do Tommy columns now include product placement for his downsized friends? Did he lose a bet on the golf course and have to figure out a way to work Peter in? Is corporate strategy consultant Peter Schwartz the name of some douchebag-speaking 8-ball ("Your brand is your greatest asset;" "Opportunity is another word for risk") that Tommy reaches for when he needs a little filler to hit his word count?
Whatever the reason for Peter's bizarre appearance, I really hope to see more of him in future Tommy columns. Every superhero in the war on global terror needs a good sidekick.