Jonathan Franzen Isn't a Regular Rich Person, He's a Cool Rich Person

Comments

1
That's a line from a Gabriel Garcia Marquez story or novel but I don't remember which one.
2
Who cares?
3
Last week's review, written in federal prison by Barrett Brown, of Franzen's Purity is seriously, totally hilarious:
https://theintercept.com/2015/10/06/stop…
4
Another money quote from the interview:

“I don’t like to hire people to do work that I can do,” he says. So that means he does his own dusting in the New York apartment he shares with his girlfriend? Franzen looks slightly shifty. “We do have a cleaner, although even that I feel some justification because we pay her way more than is standard and she’s a nice Filipino woman who we treat very well and we’re giving her work.”
5
Pretty sure 5 - 10 million doesn't put you in the 1%.
6
STFU about Franzen already. No one is making you read his books or interviews. Apparently if it weren't for him and all the other people you've deigned to be assholes, you would have nothing to write about. We're all flawed people, so stop pretending he has no right to be the same in your eyes. I'd rather read an interview with a hint of honesty than the trite PC BS you'd rather have run through a PR firm.
7
1998 Stranger: It's a sham that writers, artists and musicians aren't paid more!

2015 Stranger: Stay poor, writers! How dare you be successful, you god damned sell outs!
8
I don't see the problem with that comment "I'm a poor person with money" when asked if he's rich. I don't know enough about his background, nor do I care really, to know if he really grew up poor. If someone grows up poor or lower middle class or cash poor, it becomes a big part of their identity. Once they have some money they either try to erase that background and act like they've always had money, flaunting it, or they tend to be uncomfortable with their new wealth like Mr Franzen implies he is. He doesn't want to identify, or have his identity become about his wealth or financial status. If you're an author it makes sense (unless you're writing solely about the fabulously wealthy) to be able to identify with your audience and the subjects of your writing.
9
@5, approximately 400-500k is the top 1%. (I was surprised too). 1.6 million is 0.1 percent. So he's in the tippy top tiny fractions of 1 percent.

Off this chart...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affluence_…
10
A poor person who has money?

If you can't understand his point, you probably grew up rich.
11
I've considered both personalities, and I believe Franzen is a much bigger asshole than Christopher Columbus.
12
@6 No one is making you read Megan's posts. Apparently if it weren't for her and all the other staff members you've deigned to be assholes, you would have nothing to comment about.
13
I'm friends with a couple who grew up poor. Like, no electricity, hillbilly poor. They're really smart people and have pulled themselves up out of poverty and now live a pretty comfortable life, with two totally livable incomes. They are, however, still people who grew up very poor. So they scrimp and save and budget and worry about money, and count every penny. They're not exactly rich (urban middle class, rent an apartment), but they're richer than they were. Still, they think and live like poor people who happen to have some money.

I don't think they have anything in common with Jonathan Franzen.
14
If you don't have to worry about money, constantly, every hour, like it's a sick relative who could die at any moment, you are not poor.
15
It has been my experience that artists are invariably boors. That is the paradox...a mysterious God let's them paint what they will never understand. Like all those Florentines and Genoans and Venetians...who were scoundrels and sybarites, but whom this God trusted to give us the angels and Jesus Christ himself through their dumb hands.
16
That was a Doctorow quote, by the way (except for the typo, that was me)
17
Well. It's a good amount of money. But it's not "Flagpole Sitta" money.
18
@9 - that wikipedia page was referring to income, not net worth.
19
The poet James Merrill, whose father was a founder of Merrill Lynch, commented once that he was lucky he'd had poor parents. Of course, he said, they weren't poor when he was growing up; but they were poor when they were growing up --- i.e., when their characters were being formed. They still turned out the lights whenever they left a room.

Not that Franzen isn't a tone-deaf asshole blah blah blah; but the "poor person with money" comment isn't nonsensical.
20
I'm a rich person without money.
21
@20 - LOL. Those happen too.
22
Stop pretending that being rich isn't totally fucking awesome, and you don't benefit from it constantly. This completely disingenious "aw shucks, sure I'm rich, but money doesn't matter, I'm really a poor person inside" is so much bullshit. Don't be ashamed you can hire a house cleaner. That sounds great!

You are talented, and that talent has made you rich. Be proud of yourself, you don't have to be down on your success because you internalized guilt from some liberal assholes who made you think that money makes you a bad person.
23
@9, Income and Net Worth are totally different. For example let's say when you were young you had a year where you did really well and earned $100,000. You don't own a home, $80,000 in student debt, $5,000 owed on credit card, some medical expenses and at the end of the day though your income would be top 5%, your net worth would be $0. Fast forward twenty years of making $25,000/year and buying a house that appreciates greatly. Now you'd be earning in the lower 20% of Incomes, while your net worth could be over a million with the appreciation on the house. Either way, it's not always the best metric to measure how comfortably you live or wether your writing is any good or if you are an asshole or not.
24
You're enjoying your day, everything's going your way,
Then along comes Jonathan Franzen.
Always there to tell you about a new disease, a car accident or killer bees
You'll beg him to spare you, Jonathan PLEASE!
But you can't stop Jonathan Franzen!
Womp Womp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctM3U1SO…
25
I've never understood the need people feel to police the private opinions and activities of authors or anyone else.
26
beautiful hair in that photo. Of course he probably posed that way deliberately with the sun on the waves of rich brown.... But still beautiful hair.