Here is where I undo all of my goodwill by choosing a side in The Great “The Newsroom” Debacle of 2012. You don’t know this about me yet but I’m usually pretty easy going when it comes to T.V. I love good television, (obviously, who doesn’t?) and sometimes there’s nothing better than some really really awful junk food for your brain. For instance, remember when this happened? Yeah, me too, though sometimes I can’t believe it.
I am also not one of those people who think today’s television is ruining our nation or any of that alarmist crap. There are so many great shows! So much good writing! And the acting! The ACTING you guysss! Don’t give up now! Go out there and sit on your asses and stare at screens! Get fat on SmartFood popcorn and blocks of cheddar cheese! … Welp, I digress.
But you can think of me as a T.V. factotum if you wanna, I guess. So when I say that I STRONGLY dislike a show, or in this case a creator/writer I really mean it. This time the creator/writer in question is Mayor of Whitesville, Mr. Aaron Wonder-Bread-With-the-Crust-Cut-Off Sorkin. Ok, this is getting off to a rude start so I’ll just pump the brakes a little bit and start from the beginning.
In case you’re new to the planet, Aaron Sorkin is a well-respected, award-winning screenwriter, most famous for his show, The West Wing and Facebook movie, The Social Network. He also had a show once called, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one on the planet who watched it. I’m not about to list all of his impressive credits because I’m not your Mom so just Google him.
For those of you who are at a more advanced reading level, I will summarize his career in my own words: Aaron Sorkin is famous for writing rigidly cerebral, politically-charged stories featuring white male protagonists with have high-pressure jobs who are mad as hell and definitely not going to take it anymore. I reference that monologue from the 1976 film, Network because it’s a fucking classic but also because Sorkin clearly uses that film and the character of Howard Beale as a template for his ideal hero. He likes them world-weary, well-educated, and white. The 3 W’s! I have a few theories as to why this formula exists:
1) He has a very specific writer’s voice and isn’t shy about stuffing words down his characters’ throats. So, to make his writing work on television he creates a more camera ready version of himself (a stoic manly man who longs for the days when men wore hats, lit ladies’ cigarettes, and drank milk and vodka) as the main character and tent pole of the plot and then just waits for an excuse to let them go off on a rage-ologue about how the American public doesn’t read print media anymore because blah blah blah internet. Am I the only one that thinks this is lazy writing? Maybe I am, but you have to admit that it’s bullshit for a writer to use a fictional television show to air his personal grievances about the state of the union. Well, OK, fine, that’s his prerogative but it just rubs me the wrong way when someone uses a public forum to focus on problems that are specific to them or their demographic. For Aaron Sorkin, his struggles are those of the white man who are, as you know, the most disenfranchised race in history.
2) He is incapable of writing for women, people of color, or gay people. The reasons why are probably similar to those in the paragraph above but I just had to bring it up again because it’s actually absurd how bad Sorkin is at creating realistic female characters. There have been some great articles written lately that really hit the feminist nail on the girl power head so I’ll just link you guys to them instead of rehashing everything clumsily. Here and here. Wow! Isn’t he the worst? What a condescending wiener!
3) Look at his bowl cut! What a doofus!
I’m not saying don’t watch The Newsroom because the cast is great and you’ll genuinely be missing out. Enjoy Jeff Daniels’ and Emily Mortimer’s chemistry. Oh, and Alison Pill and John Gallagher Jr. with their adorable lil faces! But please please take everything Sorkin says with about 8 grains of salt because he is just a typical old coot who doesn’t realize the 50’s were over a long time ago and good riddance to them.
You guys! It’s me, Olivia! You probably didn’t recognize me without a few dozen re-posted photos and quotes that were misattributed to Dr. Martin Luther King by some 15 year old nerd in Ohio. But it’s me, I swear! Hope you believe me/hope you didn’t panic and call the police. I’m totally chill n down wit dat fresh shit. I’m just trying this new thing where I’m going to be responsible about my web presence in an effort to distance myself from the Facebook disease and all the sillyfun partytime grossness that online social networking has become.
I’m not saying I hate Facebook (wait, yes I am, kinda) or that it has no remunerating value. I just think that the majority of the US, and also probably the world (but idk, lol), disrespect and misuse the power the internet affords us to embrace our newfound global society and all that Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, stuff that is just sooo 2005 but just as true as it was 7 years ago.
So many people take this public platform for granted, they think nothing of spouting whatever backwards nonsense that happens to be echoing around their brainpans. Some of it is ignorant or even hateful, but most of it just mindless sharing for sharing’s sake which is the absolute worst. There are things so pointlessly violent, misanthropic and just plain DUMB floating around everyday you would think the 20th century never happened. Not that I really have to tell you smartyfarties this stuff, I simply can’t help from whining sometimes. It all just makes me want to go to bed.
Back to the point: for some reason people have separated their real self from the image they project online. Not that there’s anything wrong with creating an internet persona, (honestly I think it’s pretty freaky and manipulative), but I see how it could be freeing and fun or whatever. It just seems like people (especially young people) use the internet to completely divorce themselves from reality and IRL consequences, taking advantage of the relative anonymity of the blog-o-verse. But I’m jus sayin’ that maybe we should stop? Like, we could all just think a bit before we post crazy bullshit online? What do you think? I think it could be really chill. Super chill, even. We could all just be thoughtful and responsible citizens of the world and actually utilize this amazing tool for its intended purpose, CONNECTION. Like, if you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe don’t say anything at all? (Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten.) What do you guys think? Or we could just keep filling the internet with videos of people being hit in the dick and pointlessly, facelessly hating on each other. You could really go either way. It’s a real nail biter.
So, I guess this was just a really roundabout and bombastic way of saying I’m going to stop recycling online content and start creating some. It’s not as mindless and fun but maybe it can pay off somehow? SOMEONE HIRE ME TO WRITE SHIT FOR THEM. Hi, Videogum and Thought Catalog, I’m talking to you.
Well, I hope you enjoy my blüg from now on. I’m probably going to be writing about TV mostly, as is my wont, but some other stuff too. I don’t really know yet! The world is my oyster and I’m going to make lemonade out of it!
love, peace, and hair grease,