Time Cover Battle: Franzen vs. Zuckerberg

Jonathan Franzen and Mark Zuckerberg both recently appeared on the cover of Time, and never has the approaching-archaic magazine seemed so relevant, or at least tried to be, to “us”—a word which marks this supposed readership of the internet savvy and literarily inclined. And yet, these two gentlemen could not be more different. One: self-conscious, solemn, and dour; the other: precocious, engaged, yet detached. To celebrate their differences, here are some hypothetical battles, and their undoubtable winner.

Battle: Winner

  • Bird knowledge: Franzen
  • National Book Award: Franzen
  • Pulitzer Finalist: Franzen
  • Grammar: Franzen
  • Number of “Likes”: Zuckerberg
  • Likes peace and quiet: Franzen
  • Has read War and Peace: Franzen
  • Eyesight: Zuckerberg
  • Hindsight: Franzen
  • Friends: Zuckerberg
  • Sincerity of friends: Franzen
  • Wealth: Zuckerberg
  • Fame: Zuckerberg
  • Sexual conquests: Franzen (age advantage)
  • Feng Shui: Franzen
  • Ergonomics: Zuckerberg
  • Depression: Franzen
  • Beard potential: Franzen
  • Retirement plan: Zuckerberg
  • Taste in wine: Franzen
  • Loneliness tolerance: Franzen
  • Typing speed: Zuckerberg
  • Loafer collection: Franzen
  • Subscription to Harper’s: Franzen
  • Performance on Oprah: Zuckerberg
  • Ethnic diversity of girlfriend: Zuckerberg
  • Philanthropic donations: Zuckerberg
  • Blinking frequency: Franzen
  • Battery-life of laptop: Zuckerberg
  • Wi-fi signal: Zuckerberg
  • Ability to reconfigure I.P. address: Zuckerberg
  • Ability to “connect with others” irl: Franzen’s agent
  • Coding: Zuckerberg
  • Coping: Franzen TC mark

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More From Thought Catalog

  • http://timothypresence.com/ Timothy Willis Sanders

    everything: chen

  • dubstepkelly

    This is the dumbest thing Thought Catalog has ever published.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen


      • Dan

        He didn't read the diatribe against tacos.

      • Denise

        Damn. JC haters coming out of the woodwork like nobody's bizzneess, shesh

      • Dan

        Ha. I assumed that no one could take that comment seriously due to the undeniable genius of the Taco story. Apparently I do not understand the internet.

    • http://twitter.com/JosephErnest Joseph Ernest Harper

      yeah. fuck dubstep.

    • http://twitter.com/Erikhaspresence Erik Stinson

      high praise…

  • http://twitter.com/_justvibing @_justvibing

    hey fuck off

  • http://thevagabondisland.tumblr.com REI KOZ



  • Brad

    this makes franzen seem cool… guy is corny and uncool.

  • http://hbgwhem.tumblr.com/ hbgwhem.tumblr.com

    you forgot Tao's cover. feel like he could 'fucking own' Franzen in the 'depression' category and 'dismantle' the Social Network guy in 'wealth'

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh


  • Madison Moore

    very smart, this piece.

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