Thursday, January 5, 2017

Aaron Sorkin's Alternate Universe

Lots of times a post on Facebook gets me all worked up, and I start a comment which gets longer and longer until I realize that what I have here, once again, is not a Facebook comment but a blog post. This time is was a Facebook post consisting of a video plugging some sort of class in which Aaron Sorkin teaches you how to be a genius just like him. The video starts off with Sorkin talking about how to be a genius of dialogue just like he is, and saying that in real life, no one ever starts a sentence with "dammit."

I constantly start both spoken and written sentences with "dammit." I guess I suspected all along that I am not a part of life. Thank you, Aaron Sorkin, for opening my eyes!

Sorkin is like Reese's peanut-butter cups: I like him, but I know he's bad for me.

The Democrats in Sorkin's TV shows and movies are better than the Democrats in real life. I'm a Democrat. After "The West Wing" had been on the air for a while, W beat Gore, and I stopped watching "The West Wing." And I blame Sorkin for Gore achieving less than a landslide, because "The West Wing" put us Democrats into a dream-world of wish-fulfillment which distracted us from the real world (where people constantly start sentences with "dammit," but Sorkin somehow doesn't notice). Sorkin has real big-time Democrats as creative consultants. Sorkin's shows consist to a great degree of Democrats flattering themselves unrealistically. Look at how much taller Rob Lowe is than George Stephanopoulos, that says a lot. (Google says that Stephanopoulos is 5'7". I think I've uncovered another case of someone fleeing from reality.) Look at how often in Sorkin's shows it is implied or explicitly said that Washington Democrats are the smartest people in the world. Oh, if only they were!

Do I need to say it? The smartest people in the world wouldn't get beaten by idiots like W and Trump. They wouldn't be outmanouvered again and again by dull plodding beasts like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. The smartest people in the world aren't nearly smart enough yet that we've all been able to find one another, let alone all working together cohesively in one political unit. We're working on finding each other and working together, but we're not nearly there yet, not nearly. Also, duh, 97% or so of the smartest people in the world live and work and play outside of the US, as they should.

Yes, many leading Democrats are wicked smart -- Bill, Hillary, Barack and Michelle are just 4 obvious examples -- but there's a lot of mediocrity mixed in there, too, even at the highest levels. If there weren't, Democrats in real life would be as crushingly triumphant as the Democrats in Aaron Sorkin's fictional alternate universe.

There is a lot of actual nonfictional American history. If you want to be a more effective Democrat, drop Sorkin and read the real stuff. Learning a bunch of languages and reading philosophy and history and poetry from all over the world, untranslated, wouldn't hurt either. (C'mon -- all the smartest people in the world are doin' it!) And it's all not only much more useful than Sorkin, it's all actually much more interesting too. Push the bowl of peanut-butter cups away.

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