Jonathan Franzen Is Right

If the amount of time it took me to get through this article about Jonathan Franzen is any indication then he may actually have a point about how bad the Internet is. I mean, if that’s the thing he’s complaining about, how distraction-prone it makes us. I swear this tab must have sat open for two days while I kept flitting by and looking at other things. The actual lunch in question probably took less time to eat than it took me to read this. Hell, writing the whole thing up probably took less time than it took me to read this. And if Jonathan Franzen thinks the Internet is bad for some other reason than how distracting it is — let’s call the condition “tabstraction” — he is probably correct too, because the Internet is terrible and we all know it, it’s beyond dispute at this point. Fuck the Internet. It’s a trench filled with misery and despair and broken hopes and terrible GIFs. Hey, speaking of which, has anyone else had the thing happen where a picture loads and for a second you think it’s an animated GIF but really it’s just a static image? Like, it never moved at all? I swear this is a thing. Can some scientist out there explain what the hell is going on? For a minute you’re like, “Ugh, now this thing is going to wink at me for as long as I keep the tab open” but then it stops and it’s even worse because you feel a) slightly haunted, but by a GIF and b) like maybe you’re having a stroke? It’s terrible. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh, right, Franzen. God, I know we’re all supposed to hate him and Lord knows he makes it easy (sometimes the only thing about him that causes me to find favor is the vehemence of his detractors), particularly when he’s all “blah blah blah birds my feelings the art of the novel” — Listen up, pal, you know what is admirable about Elena Ferrante apart from her writing? The way she mostly stays shut the fuck up about everything else! — but honestly, it’s hard to hate anyone who hates the Internet so much. What a titanic fucking disaster for everyone involved this whole shitbag thing turned out to be. Jonathan Franzen, you’re okay in my book. You keep hating the Internet and I promise that I won’t pretend to have an opinion on your actual work, which I bet is probably just fine if you’re the kind of person who likes made-up stories by some guy who has convictions about “literature.” Also, did you know that Google shows no results for “Hans and Franzen”? NO RESULTS? How could that be? Internet, you’re so fucking useless. Fuck you.