November 2, 2021 4:02 PM   Subscribe

So there's this story about the novelists Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller attending a party together. The party is an extremely lavish affair hosted by a billionaire and Vonnegut says to Heller, Joe, isn't it funny that our host makes more money in a day than you ever made from your beloved best-selling novel, Catch-22? And Heller is like, yeah, that is funny but I have something our host will never have. And Vonnegut says, what's that? And Heller says, enough (SLYT 3:59)
posted by Glinn (10 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
A four minute video in which John Green discusses precarity and related concepts.
posted by zamboni at 4:11 PM on November 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

John Green is a treasure.
posted by subdee at 4:27 PM on November 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

And now, here's Johnny Rocco with an opposing view.
posted by zaixfeep at 5:13 PM on November 2, 2021 [7 favorites]

I actually had the impression that Heller was kinda obsessed with money, based on the Matt Groening anecdote teasing him about "Big TV Money".
posted by ovvl at 6:32 PM on November 2, 2021

I like that's he's got a picture of Woody Guthrie and his fascist killing guitar up on the wall.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:49 PM on November 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

The western chasm of bottomless consumerism is never satiated.
posted by DJZouke at 9:15 AM on November 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

When faced with the nature of infinity, enough is difficult. I splurged on cheese this month. This is first world thinking. I usually just splurge on thought, it is easier on my cholesterol numbers. I am glad that of those who have enough, many turn to help others have the same.
posted by Oyéah at 6:33 PM on November 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I grew up, a white, middle class male with "enough". I've always felt it was too much, even as a child. And I've always wanted to reduce - to live a minimal life with almost possessions, without the desire for consumerism or capital. My partner grew up poor, and has alway wanted more, needed more. To feel safe and secure.

I'm no expert in this area, but I wonder... is being able a say "I have enough" a luxury that only the rich can afford? I'd love your thoughts.
posted by greenhornet at 1:04 AM on November 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

@greenhornet: It's been easy for me to achieve [good] enough. And indulge myself in a little subversive piss-taking directed at The Man. That's substantially because I was born white & ♂ into a professional home in 1954. I had the huge [unintended consequences] advantage of having a brilliant older brother. At some early stage I reckoned that I'd never match the brother's success, so I stepped off the merry-go-round. I tell my kids that my ambition genes were shot off in the war. [soccer]I was much better as Left Back than Centre Forward[/soccer]. When you're 7, a 10 y.o. brother may have seemingly unattainable skills; when you're 67 & 70 the playing field is pretty much levelled. But those early pressures and choices do set the clock. At one point in Michael Sandel's Harvard Justice/Philosophy class, he shows that the majority of the students are only- or first-born: birth-order is a another parameter as well as birth-date. Push-back on Sandel's interpretation of the data.

Boomer bennies: In 1986 we bought a home that cost 1.4x my then humble govt salary. A starter home for Dau.I is as near as dammit 14x her govt salary. That makes her living much more precarious than mine ever was.

I was talking to my elderly [older even than me!] neighbour at the time of 2008 crash and bail-out. She remembered life being pretty hard graft as a farmer in the 1980s recession. But she said brightly "At least, poor as we were, we had no debt".
posted by BobTheScientist at 2:40 AM on November 4, 2021 [3 favorites]

I think I've heard that some Mefites don't like vlogbrothers, or one or the other. Their followers have unfortunately been vast majority white for most of their popular history, but they have addressed that from time to time and seem to be making some strides in that area. I feel like they do a lot of good in the world. Also maybe that they SHOULD, with the privileges they have. (I don't think it's right to think that, but I am admitting I think that.)

Anyway, I have almost posted videos from John or Hank a bunch of times. Might have done, now that I think of it.

My life has had its ups and downs. Like many people, lots of downs lately! But this video struck me in a particular way. Maybe I had to be 50+ for some of the simplest of concepts to sink in, but this video made me feel a little better and I hoped it might do the same for someone else(s).
posted by Glinn at 3:16 PM on November 5, 2021

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