Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Sorkin’

Aaron Sorkin’s Liberalism

HBO The Newsroom

The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin’s fourth television series, debuts its second season tonight on HBO. And while the first season was something of a disappointment, Sorkin is still one of the most acclaimed writers on TV, with an Oscar and highly anticipated projects in Hollywood and on Broadway.

And yet The Newsroom seems to highlight all of Sorkin’s most annoying tendencies, from his inability to write women, to his smug condescension, to his love of self-plagiarism. But rather than repeat those complaints, I want to focus on what bothers me the most about Sorkin’s work—its lionization of a particularly virulent strain of liberalism.

I’m generally wary of the terms “liberal” and “conservative”, since they are often used to restrict the realm of acceptable political thought to the stances of the two dominant political parties. But Sorkin seems to represent a kind of liberalism that denotes a worldview rather than just stances on particular issues. Of course, on those issues Sorkin loves to parrot the most thoughtless talking points of the Democratic Party (the Christian right is silly; guns are bad; Islam is no more violent than other religions; etc.).* Continue reading


Monday Medley

What we read while trying to find some NFL Draft coverage…

Monday Medley

What we read while–BOO!


Moneyball: The Art of Filming an Unfair Game

Brad Pitt as Billy Beane

Three names go conspicuously unmentioned in the new film adaptation of Moneyball: Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder. There are two ways to react to this omission.

The first is to think that their exclusion is unacceptable for a film that purports to tell the story of the 2002 Oakland A’s. After all, the trio combined to win 57 games and pitch 675 innings to a combined 3.05 ERA that year. Zito in particular led the league in wins, en route to a Cy Young Award. Without those three, a team that won 103 games would have almost certainly missed the playoffs.

The other way to react to their absence, though, is to realize that it is entirely appropriate. Moneyball is not really a movie about the 2002 Oakland A’s—it’s a movie about Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) and his radical reinvention of the game. And it doesn’t take much reinvention to stick with a trio that was coming off a 2001 season in which they won 56 games and pitched 678 innings to a 3.43 ERA.

Continue reading

Monday Medley

What we read while fleeing the Metrodome…

Monday Medley

What we read while appreciating the human element…

  • Two games that are, indeed, all about corners — Monopoly and The Wiretogether at last.

The Social Network: What’s Your Status?

There is a scene about midway through The Social Network, the new David Fincher movie about Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook, in which Zuckerberg and his business partner, Eduardo Saverin, meet with Sean Parker, the celebrity Internet entrepreneur and co-founder of Napster. The scene takes place in the spring of 2004, when had been out long enough for people to realize it was big, but not long enough for anyone to grasp how big. After many rounds of Appletinis and much discussion of how the Internet business world operates, Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) leaves, but before he goes he imparts some advice to his younger colleagues: “Drop the ‘the.’ It’s cleaner.”

This is a nifty bit of storytelling, in which a magnetic personality with only a little bit of substantive input manages to charm the Internet’s Next Big Thing with a beautiful grasp of marketing.

Except it’s not really accurate. Facebook was initially known as The Facebook because the rights to “” were already owned, and Facebook wouldn’t actually be able to purchase the rights to the cleaner domain until the summer of 2005.

But, as I said, the scene makes for good storytelling, and that’s really what Fincher and Aaron Sorkin, the film’s screenwriter, are after with the movie. Continue reading