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March 10, 2008

Everyone Feels Poor

Just as presidents often complain about their lack of power and how they're being persecuted, so too do many rich Americans often feel poor because they're surrounded by people even richer. A while back I wrote about Joseph Lieberman in this regard. Now here's Tina Fey, who certainly makes $2 million a year and could plausibly make $200 million if her show ever goes into syndication, in a Parade magazine profile:

“I often feel like a complete fool,” [Fey] says. “I’m here laboring over this tiny show so much, and around me people are making money by the fistful. It’s like, ‘Oh, man, how can I turn my personality into a line of crappy products?’ Rachael Ray sells, like, spoons. I could sell pencils.”

In fairness to Fey, she's talking here in the context of time working against actresses. Still: blurgh.

THIS POST DEDICATED: To the burning comedy fires of Dennis Perrin.

ALSO: It would be nice if Fey could draw the connection between other people "making money by the fistful" and the brief working lives of actresses.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 10, 2008 05:00 PM

OK, I've just reada bunch of her "best" stuff.
That's funny? It sure as hell isn't "scathing." Lenny Bruce could be scathing. The Pythons could be funny. What she produces are Bob Hope like jokes with a teensy feminist edge.
But then, the thirty-somethings do find it funny. We have failed them. That they leave college without a touch of a "tragic sense of life" is bad enough. But that Tina Fey is dubbed successor to an American tradition of humor that includes Twain, Thurber, Benchley, Sahl and Bruce, now that's depressing.
"You Americans, alvays viss ze jokes," Sergeant Schulz once said on "Hogan's Heroes." Now the Germans are gonna beat the hell ouf of us in humor any day. As the world turns.

Posted by: donescobar at March 10, 2008 05:41 PM

Indeed. Or how about this, from the Wikipedia article on Latrell Sprewell:

"On October 31, 2004, the Minnesota Timberwolves offered Sprewell a 3-year, $21 million contract extension, substantially less than what his then-current contract paid him. Insulted, he publicly vented his outrage, declaring, 'I have a family to feed.'"

There's nothing particularly unique about Latrell Sprewell in this regard. This was just a representative example that I happened to remember.

Posted by: Stephen Stralka at March 10, 2008 07:33 PM

"Colonel Angus is an acquired taste."
True, but I'm not sure it's funny.
As for our German allies, much better that they seek a sense of humor than Lebensraum.
They are leaving that us. Which makes us...
Cut. Not funny.

Posted by: donescobar at March 10, 2008 07:56 PM

There is a more charitable way to interpret her comments: the billions made by the top 0.2% look absurdly unjust even to mere millionaires at the 0.5% tier.

Posted by: Creeping Coin at March 10, 2008 07:57 PM

Hey, the fact is that if you really want to own a lot of people, you need billions, not millions.

Because that's what it's all about: control and power. If it were only about riches, these people would all take early retirement once they had a few tens of millions stashed away.

Posted by: Mark Gisleson at March 10, 2008 09:03 PM

Are there any $5K/hr pool boys? That would put a dent in a ladies purse.

Posted by: john in california at March 10, 2008 11:48 PM

Jon. Parade? You read Parade?

Posted by: Mark at March 11, 2008 12:16 AM

It would be nice if Fey could draw the connection between other people "making money by the fistful" and the brief working lives of actresses.

If she wants to keep laboring over that tiny show and keep such career prospects as remain to her open, she'd better avoid making those connections - publicly at least. And those do seem to be her priorities.

Posted by: Maud at March 11, 2008 12:24 AM

Just Wondering!!

They don't. Therefore he won't.

Posted by: Sandy at March 11, 2008 02:55 AM

oh poor people are such a dreary subject. and even worse is the tendency of parlor leftists to romaticize the poor as being somehow all-salty-of-the-earthy. Coming from backwoods WV, I can assure that a lack of a full set of teeth is in no way ennobling. and why do you people have the idea that somehow someone like Bill Gates, who has created vast weatlh and benefits for tons of people, is somehow stealing from those tooth-missing deadbeats who either don't work, or who make minimum wage because they failed to learn a useful skill?

Posted by: xyz at March 11, 2008 06:56 AM

when are you going to update or issue a retraction, or follow-up?

A retraction or follow-up to what?

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at March 11, 2008 09:08 AM


You could go on the website of Joe Bageant and read some of his pieces on the "toothless deadbeats" he has written. He does not romanticise them, but he does try to understand how they live and why. A touch of his empathy might do you some good.

Posted by: donescobar at March 11, 2008 09:17 AM

This reminds me of two of my favorite jokes:

Person A: "How's x?"
Person B: "Compared to what?"

for x substitute: your income, your spouse, etc.

The fate of aging actresses (it hard out here for a aging actress, admittedly - but in this you are not so unique) - reminds me of the 4 response options for self-categorizing adult age . Those of us who have written multiple-choice surveys have a particularly keen appreciation of the issues involved in enumeration of alternatives -

a: Young adult
b: Still young
c: Not so young
d: You look wonderful

Speaking of Parade, I used to read it myself, and still would if I got a Sunday paper it came in - as it happens, however, for reasons of personal health I am no longer a customer of the Washington Post

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 11, 2008 09:25 AM

huh? empathy for ignorant, lazy deadbeats? why? I went to a lot of trouble to get the fuck out of backwoods WV, I have little interest in paying higher taxes so those deadbeats can buy new pickups and less interest in their miserable lives. same for por people in Newark, etc. Fuck 'em.

Posted by: xyz at March 11, 2008 12:46 PM

"Fuck 'em."
Well, xyz, you're in luck. It's being done for you.

Posted by: donescobar at March 11, 2008 01:12 PM

I agree with angryman. The only solution is dissolution. McInsane will cause at least three wars, the fundie vice president will require all schools to teach the theory of sin (gravity doesn't exist, we just stick to the earth because of the weight of sin), and pretty soon the empire won't be a problem.

Posted by: Brian at March 13, 2008 12:23 AM