Reading the Washington Post Book World, this weekend, I came across the article on Thomas Friedman's New Book on the environment.
If history is to be believed, then I think that when Friedman writes a book on the environment, everyone stands up and listens. He told us about the contradictory drive for prosperity and a search for identity in the 90s with his book the Lexus and the Olive Tree. Then in the early part of this century, he told us how the world order is changing, how Americans should be aware of the carpet shifting under their feet, and he was once again globally applauded in explaining a complex world through his concise, direct and no-nonsense style.
And so it seems to me, that if Friedman is talking about the environment, then the circle must be complete. The environment debate has been on the table for long, and indeed, people like Al Gore have done a lot for the cause. But Friedman, with the kind of influence he has, will be read more. I can almost imagine pirated copies of this book being printed in the narrow streets of Bombay where it will soon be sold on traffic lights for mass consumption that Mr Friedman will never know about (or get the money for), but will definitely benefit from.
In this light, my question then is....how much do we rely on the global media for diffusion of world trends. Would 'globalization' as an ideology be as big, had the media not had a domino effect in proclaiming its arrival across the world. Would the Olympics be in our consciousness or collective history in the same way, had the TV channels not broadcast the living daylights out of us? And indeed, would the millions of people across the world who wear jeans, watch American sitcoms and lap up Michael Phelps glory on the news have America on their minds if it was not for the media? Have you noticed any other recent trend diffusions in the media?
Do let me know what you think