Social Network II

This is my second post in two days on the movie Social Network.  I think an analysis of it deserves at least two days of my time.


Well for starters, as I said at length in yesterday’s post, we’ve made a “winner” out of a thief.  But I’d like to get past Mark Zuckerberg for a moment and move on to the filmmakers.

The screenplay was adapted by Aaron Sorkin from the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich.  The film was directed by David Fincher.   The Producers were Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Cean Chaffin and Kevin Spacey.  I take time and space here to list their names because I think they are all culpable in doing harm.


Well, fact checking the movie seems to support the allegation by Mr. Zuckerberg that it’s a work of fiction.  At least it’s embellished and conveniently twisted fact to achieve a self-serving end.  What end?


It appears that both the Producers and Mr. Sorkin felt that a completely amoral, asocial and criminal lead character would sell better at the box-office and on DVD than would an otherwise not so asocial, not so amoral, yet still criminal, Mark Zuckerberg.  In reality, it seems Mr. Zuckerberg wasn’t nasty or greedy enough for the film’s makers.  So they went instead in search of the lowest common denominator:  our collective and insatiable desire to be rich and famous… regardless of the real cost.

There’s a parable about a Polish man who is dying and been in a coma for weeks. Despite efforts by every visiting relative and friend, no response can be elicited from him to indicate consciousness.   Then, his Priest comes to visit and sitting close, whispers in the dying man’s ear, “I have zlotys do you want some?”  In reply, the dying man unclenches his fist to receive the Polish coins.

It is said that the last desire to leave us is not the desire for sex but the desire for money.  It’s why the prospect of perhaps having more of it is always so seductive and effective in motivating us… although not always to our credit.

Which brings me back to Social Network.

In making a very appealing, very seductive movie about a very successful entrepreneur with no ethics or morals to speak of … the real cost is to, yet again, nourish and promote the misguided and destructive principal that “the means justifies the ends.”

It is not fair to blame only those who made the decisions that led to the film’s message and creation of a darker character than Mark Zuckerberg already was. Equal responsibility lies with us. For as long as we continue to patronize movies that glamorize our darker selves, with total disregard for how doing so contributes to our lower selves and our lowest common denominator, the creators of such films (and books) will prosper as will the incentive for them, and others in every walk of life, to keep up the bad work.


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