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The Social Network Link Love: 10/22/2010

After reading The Accidental Billionaires and watching The Social Network last night and then discussing – I’m feeling a bit burnt out on discussing it in-depth and rehashing comments I’ve previously made.

There’s also so much good writing out there exploring elements of the film and book which are problematic, that I want to just link-spam the hell out of this post and leave it there. I am not familiar enough with the subject matters (elite schools, final clubs, programming, start-ups, silicon valley, etc) to wax effusive or effective.

And the points which concerned me have all been nicely covered by those in the fields or with a greater stake in making said points.

My general take on the book is that it really shouldn’t be labeled non-fiction and the subject matter would have best been tackled by someone with more journalism and research skills. I missed Zuckerberg as a character – he was entirely absent from the book.

Therefore, his presence in the film is immense. Jesse Eisenberg was quite captivating at being something other than a more cutting version of Michael Cera. I was also pleasantly surprised by Andrew Garfield’s depiction of Eduardo, who was just as unlikable on page as the other characters (the Winkelvii, Zuckerberg), but came off as being very human and sympathetic in the film.

Zuckerberg did get tapped as being an asshole and that statement, to me is neither here nor there. Did he do something illegal? No. Did he do something moral repugnant? Probably. Is that a standard practice in business ventures and start-ups? Most likely. When there are billions of dollars to be made – someone is eventually going to be an asshole. Especially the CEO or CFO or whoever the hell is in a leadership role. It’s their job.

It did really feel like the film was trying to push the agenda that Zuckerberg wanted to impress the ladiez AND the final clubs. Which I don’t buy. I was more convinced, and am quite certain, that Zuckerberg is an artist and programming is his medium. I could relate to his singular vision and the drive to create. This article echoes my sentiments.

What separates this film from being a modern-day Citizen Kane is the lack of a narrative. Zuckerberg is not boot straps people. In fact, there’s little to no mention of where this brilliant soul emerged from. His rags to riches story is more of a North Face fleece to riches story, which isn’t all that spectacular. Loads of smart, nerdy kids poised in position for opportunity find success.

LINK LOVE AFTER THE CUT…


I think the book and film really try to make him seem more mysterious than he is. Which is bullshit. It’s why I would rather read something like The Facebook Effect than an entertaining but fictionalized accounting of reality.

So that’s my piece. When it comes to the sexism in the film – I have to agree it’s there. But it’s a movie made in Hollywood so that doesn’t surprise me too incredibly. The sexism is also not out-of-line with the book, and is actually cleaned up in many places so it was much more pleasing to endure.

SEXISM LINK LOVE:

– Jezebel never fails to provide an interesting series of viewpoints, their article “The Social Network, where women never have ideas,” kick started my critical analysis of the sexism.

Review which supports the idea that the sexism and misogyny in the film was intentional.

Aaron Sorkin responds to a blog commenter about the screenplay.

Review from the Female Geek perspective.

Slate article: Is the Facebook movie sexist?

RACISM LINK LOVE:

A compelling article on the white-washing of The Social Network.

Oversexualization of asian female characters in The Social Network.

FACT vs FICTION LINK LOVE:

Daily Beast article contributed by Miss DeMew to the book club discussion wall (the club is housed on Facebook)

Mark Zuckerberg explains how his real motivation differs from the movie motivation. Also mocks his own bad wardrobe.

Tech Crunch article aimed at Aaron Sorkin.

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

3 responses to “The Social Network Link Love: 10/22/2010”

  1. Addie says :

    Oh good, you have the pandagon link! I’m finally reading through the several links I opened up after the movie last week and that’s one of them.

    As a programmer, the one thing I have to disagree with is the idea of Zuckerberg’s motive, as it was communicated. To me, it was obvious that as soon as he had the idea for the project, that was his project, and very little else mattered – the final clubs and women and all of that really didn’t matter. I thought Eduardo seemed to be getting caught up in the romance of it, but Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg was consistently married to the project from the moment it got started, and I felt like Eduardo’s accusations that he was motivated otherwise really bounced off of him. He was consistently immersed in his work.

    That said? There aren’t many non-programmers who can relate to the experience of being totally sucked in and intoxicated by a project – even a boring project – to the point where the rest of life suddenly stops mattering. They called it “wired in” in the movie, but it’s something most programmers can relate to, even if they have only experienced brief bits of it (like I have). I see the idea that Zuckerberg’s character was motivated by the final clubs and social noteriety everywhere else, too, though, so I wonder if this is another area where the film worked on a programmer’s level.

    I like the pandagon link because it mentions those layers of nuance – that there are certain things that only certain audiences might be able to capture. I think Eisenberg mastered the programmer’s intensity with perfection, whether or not that was the intention of the screenwriter and director.

    • tinyheroes says :

      I totally recognized Zuckerberg’s desire to control and head the project. He didn’t want to help the Winklevii because he wanted to be the driving force behind Facebook. He clearly wasn’t interested in financial gain – it was solely about creating something and having control over it.

      In that sense – it makes Facebook a bit beautiful. I am really on-board with the idea of programming as an artistic medium. And while I can’t neccesarily relate to building a program, there are elements of the creative process involved which are recognizable (and exciting).

      I saw the split between Eduardo and Zuckerberg as a difference between how they wanted to run the company. Eduardo wanted advertisers and Zuckerberg was intent on keeping the company free from those sorts of affiliations. Which makes sense coupled with his desire for control and intense dedication.

      I don’t think either of them are really “bad guys.” Just – you know – motivated by different things.

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