…why aren’t you rich?”
That’s what they used to say to me back in the Midwest, in response to my being an insufferable know-it-all. I am a more sufferable know-it-all these days, so I am rarely asked this question, which is disappointing since I now have many good answers for it.
There’s the factual-sociological-statistical answer. If you correlate income and intelligence statistics, you will quickly discover that millions of geniuses are working at McJobs, if they can find work at all. Smarter people are not richer. Those who hold advanced degrees and/or desirable skills and talents are richer, and so are people who fit whatever the current societal standards for physical attractiveness happen to be.
There’s also the philosophical response, which requires a re-evaluation of what truly constitutes richness. I could just say, “I AM rich!” I have a loving spouse, satisfying work, good friends, creative outlets AND my health. I may not have much money, but I have enough to pay the bills, my taxes, and I live in one of the world’s cutest little houses. I am SOOOoooo rich.
Even though I’m rich, I’m not Rich. Frank Rich, that is. Frank Rich is a superb columnist who has been writing for The New York Times for three decades. AFTER my last post comparing and contrasting The Social Network with True Grit (among other things), Frank published a terrific piece about why both versions of True Grit were hits. Then he compared and contrasted each one to their value-opposites; Easy Rider, and The Social Network.
Frank Rich’s column is longer and better than mine was. I did, however, notice and explore these two thematic opposites ONE WHOLE DAY before he did! I may not be Rich, but it made me feel smart.
Here’s Frank Rich’s column: