September 20, 2013

The "utterly, terminally square" Jonathan Franzen called out "the cool kids" for their "vapidity and cowardice"...

... and they could "smell that kind of healthy self-doubt," and free of "the slightest fear that he will reply," attacked.
So what I think is that Franzen really ought to just come online and talk with everybody. Let some of us have it, too, if he thinks we deserve it. If he believes that Americans could be doing a better job politically, or as artists or intellectuals or students or teachers, the Internet is the place for making that case now. Yes, there are many bad things about the Internet, but serious criticism is alive and well there. Or here, rather. There are thousands upon thousands of passionate constituencies online—political, social, literary—many of them eager for the participation of as many principled, serious artists as care to come out and talk. Come on in, Mr. Franzen! The water’s fine. 
Actually, he is in. Everyone read that thing he wrote on the internet. He chose a position on the internet from which to speak. You're just saying that you want him to engage and get all interactive with the individuals who are punching up at him. That's their game. That's the position they chose.

Ironically, that come-on-join-the-internet piece I've quoted above is in The New Yorker.

I read it on the internet.

There. Or here, rather.

1 comment:

Inga said...

Some people are dissapointed when an online poster states their piece and then doesn't enagage any further. It's better that way most times, because as great is it is to debate, online debate tends to always spiral downward into brawl, when unmoderated. Online commenters are often hidden by use of pseudonyms and don't have to be responsible for their online behavior, or so they think.