Revenge of the Nerd Producer, Director and Writer? The Social Network: Nice Guys Don’t Win Ball Games, Girls Don’t Get to Play
I have been scanning glowing reviews of the movie, The Social Network.
It was work for me not to bolt from the theater I was so repelled watching this movie.
It delivered initial promise. The opening scene between Erica, an engaging and smart young college women, enduring what fast becomes a last date with an arrested socially developed Mark, fingernails on a chalkboard arrogant. Once the movie decides not to follow the compelling Erica but reverently follow the irreverent (what Roger Ebert calls near-Asperger syndrome) boy genius and his craven amassing of power and money, I knew I was in for two or so hours of misogynistic masturbation. I was right. And no, I am not talking about the misogynistic masturbation of the wonderful actors in this movie portraying brittle amoral callow college men. I am talking about the creative masters of the universe who put this movie together. The ones who will be taking their bows undoubtedly on Oscar night. They are the ones indulging in misogynistic masturbation.
The movie is startlingly insensitive to its audience. It was put together by aging male hipsters to seduce callow young male and female hipsters, I would guess. Let’s get all those Facebook participant bucks? They are not only flaunting the petty political narcissism of the young men, they are proselytizing it in the guise of cynicism and satire. They show their hands at the very end as we are shown in writing on the screen that the nerdy “losers” have amassed stunning fortunes. In your face, America. In your Face-books! Gotta respect all that money, after all! Who’s the loser now, really? Wink, wink.
We in the audience are. Salt in the wounds of American citizens. Not cool. Show me a counter-culture, don’t ram more of the same culture down my throat without MORE CONTEXT FOR IT! We have been shorn by the ruthless leaders of our government and corporations. You moviemakers are there to once again remind us that power and competition are the way of the world, and of the new future world. A new generation of male apprentice movers and shakers. New male sociopathic apprentices being rewarded for business sociopathy. The masculine paradigm continues on with this generation. Though I think the movie makers think of these guys as “special” in terms of shaking up the patriarchal culture, being rare and their own breed. Grow up. They are the Harvard cultivated products of it!
Zuckerberg’s spurning girlfriend is revealed as a mere consumer of the great inventor’s genius at the end. Yes, he yearns to connect with her perhaps, wow, an entire two or so hours to be rewarded with that profoundly uncathartic revelation, but come on, boys, what are you really saying about the context of Erica and Mark? She’s eating his dust using his invention and he is atop the economic patriarchal mountain. Even in the skyscraper law firm a lowly female second year associate gets to remind Mark of his lousy behavior as a human being. Yeah, honey, and he can buy you and sell you so you can eat his dust, too. Wink, wink.
The presentation of women in this movie and the void of feminine values of partnership and cooperation, aside from Erica’s few minutes of emotional intelligence in the beginning and Eduardo’s sensitiveness as the one male at times coming close to a “humanist”. But he turns out “whipped” by an Asian ex-groupie woman and proves to have no broad savvy for business like the narcissists. Nice guys and ball games. They can’t win. And no girls in the game.
And framing the movie narrative using talking attorney heads around a law firm conference table amidst testimonies and depositions made me impatient. Maybe to illuminate the microscopic moments of emotion in a slick hollow movie? No, men, that’s not only the theme, the dehumanization of big time corporatism, that’s sadly your limiting creative firewall. And cynical cryptic dialogue does not satisfy when there is no message of moral reality. I felt I was sinking down into amoral quicksand as I watched.
The creative “geniuses” that made this movie have given us an anti-hero but I don’t think they really get that. I think he is their hero and that is the difference between a patriarchal culture, dog eat dog, and the counter culture of humanism that is not being promoted, sadly, in most movies. That is so marginalized it doesn’t ever make a background moment on the screen. America’s moral coma is not disturbed by this movie. A moral reality would have illuminated the tragic choices of these young men. But that is the crux of the matter. I don’t think they were tragic choices to the movie makers, at all. They were necessary choices in the patriarchal game of power. The only game in town, right boys?
Richard Corliss in his Time magazine commentary calls Mark Zuckerberg “post-human”. I think he says it with admiration. To me if he is post-human it is with tragic connotations for him and our future. Like Obama as a post-partisan president. Shallow, callow, lots of hipster style and pathetically little real substance.
Cynical showoff creators, yeah, I know you are deliberately illuminating their shallowness. And yet I hear the Seinfeld wording leaking through, "Not that there is anything wrong with that!" All that money and power, after all.
I would rather have watched a movie about ANY of the 500 million followers of Facebook than about its core of inventors.