so we millennials*~ we children of the INTERNET*~*~ have decided “FIGHT ME” is the new meme and sometimes life credo and maybe jonathan “pictures of you and your friends at tgi fridays" franzen is the perfect obnoxious cultural bigwig to have on the other side of this, maybe his true purpose in the world is to be all of our default foe, like the first boss in a video game that everyone has to beat before the quests get specialized
like: today i was taking a long and lazy and pretty walk through prince street gardens, which is very green, green in despite of the foggy whiteskied february we’ve been having, always beautiful and dramatic and calming. i was calmed by the walk, deeply content as i walked through the long winding pathways around the castle, around the fountain. we’ve had a quiet warm not-really-winter in edinburgh and snowdrops and crocuses have already started to bloom on the far side of the castle. it was the first i’d seen of them, the first flowers of the season already starting to open. i knelt and took several photos of the flowers, intending to put them on instagram (which i did). and i was kneeling with my phone out, photographing these flowers, an impulse appreciation of some natural beauty underfoot, &c., and i thought ”also, i’m annoying jonathan franzen. i’m personally frustrating the lit world’s mouthy great white whale and i’m doing it RIGHT NOW. right now, as i kneel in the shadow of edinburgh castle, gazing up at its craggy silhouette and down at the dewdrops of the just-opening first flowers of the season, as i take this in and capture it and think hmm i’m gonna share this later because it surprised me and made me happy, JONATHAN FRANZEN, SOMEWHERE, IS JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE PISSED OFF AT THE UNIVERSE AND HE DOESN’T KNOW WHY.”
every time you say “fight me” on the internet you are already in a fight with jonathan franzen. every time you say anything on the internet you are in a fight with jonathan franzen. we are all fighting jonathan franzen all the time and frankly? on this front? we’re winning. every tweet, photograph, and shitpost is, while each unto itself is many things, a reminder of the limitations of jonathan franzen’s power. there are so many public enemies you will never ever be able to hurt even a little, it’s nice to have one that you can incrementally and subtly fuck up, and just by doing things you earnestly enjoy. every moment you appreciate and share with any kind of audience on the internet is a tack on jonathan franzen’s chair. and i think that’s satisfying. i think that’s a little bit beautiful.