From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Monday, January 26, 2015

Have Something To Say (Aaron Sorkin for President)


So, we know I tend to freak out about things. Like, not in a "the sky is falling" way; more in a ITS SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE way. That's like, my thing.

Ok. You know how in the Twilight books (yes, I'm talking about Twilight), the vampires have a heightened sense of smell of the people around them, and how Bella is like Edward's "personal brand of heroin"? I already have a tendency to get overexuberant about, well, pretty much everything, but there are a more limited number of times when something is punch me in the gut good, its literally a physical reaction good, I don't want to eat or pee because then I'd have to take out my headphones good. This is The Newsroom. Aaron Sorkin what have you done to me.

There are three--yes THREE pining couples in this show, and Jeff Daniels plays one of the most achingly good kicked puppy wrapped in a fiercely intelligent and crotchety middle aged man characters EVER. This show is so good it HURTS MY STOMACH. MUCH YES. SO CAPS LOCK.


Anyway. We know you're a weirdo, Sarah, get to the point, you say. I will try. I mean, I've already taken out my headphones after all.

I think as writers and artists of any kind, we worry about taking a stand. We don't want to alienate people by saying things they disagree with. We aim for subtlety. From the big speeches and rants to the really, REALLY epic pining and grand, cinematic backing score, The Newsroom isn't necessarily going for subtlety. I mean, Jeff Daniel's character calls the Tea Party the American Taliban. And the thing is, normally I am uber sensitive to that type of discussion, especially when it comes to politics. Generally I just get stubborn and contrary when people talk politics, and argue conservative with liberals and vice versa. But the thing is, the writers of this show have managed it so neither they nor the characters are pounding anyone for believing something differently than anyone else. They're only pounding on illogical thinking and dishonesty. But they're making their point unabashedly. And it is incredibly refreshing.

I think we all have something to say, and we shouldn't be afraid to say it. Especially if we can manage it like this show, and entertain any line of intelligent inquiry even if its different from our own. As artists, we should value transparency as much as we do in our government. Talk about the changes you want to see made. Talk about what problems you see, and who you see that's doing something positive about it. In a way, art is journalism. Find truth, and express it simply. I think that's the ultimate goal of any artist.

And yeah, if The Newsroom is any accurate indication of Aaron Sorkin as a person and hypothetical politician, I nominate him for President.

Sarah Allen

p.s. On an only somewhat related topic, famous youtuber Hank Green as well as others had the chance to interview President Obama. Here is an article Hank wrote about the experience, and the somewhat strange, unexpected and perhaps antiquated reaction of some of the mainstream media.

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14 comments:

  1. That is a fine line to walk, but if you can do it without taking sides and just focus on the issue, it works. And snark helps.

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    1. Exactly. I'd be interested to hear your opinion on how well you think these guys managed that fine line in this show. In my opinion it is intelligent and very thoughtful, and I think if we can manage that, we can take stands without disrespecting other people.

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  2. Politics-schmotics! God help us. Anyway, great post as usual.

    Hugs and chocolate!

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    1. I am so very with you on that, Shelly! Seriously. God help us. The thing is, this show in a way is saying that same thing. It's a news crew that's really trying to DO something about dishonesty and corruption. Anyway, I've found it really informative and engaging. I think our art should try and do the same.

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  3. Alex said all I had to say, and he said it much better. But, calling someone a Nazi, Taliban, racist, or any slam with a level of hate-olitics is stepping over that line.

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    1. I completely agree. I can't stand hate-olotics. What this show does, though, is acknowledge when its characters step over the line. When they do, real consequences happen. In my opinion, the show actually does a good job showing how dangerous hate-olitics can be.

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  4. I'm 18, so I should probably start understanding politics, but I don't. Although this show does sound awesome, and Hank Green interviewing the president was even better.

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    1. I don't think I will EVER understand. I feel like this show has expanded my way of thinking though, if that makes sense, in really interesting ways. I feel like its changed me.

      And yes, Hank Green is pretty much completely epic :)

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  5. Maybe its not the job of the writer/artist to share an opinion so much as to show the consequences of drug abuse, bad medical care, etc. We have an opportunity not to debate it, but to get people thinking. It may bring up discussions which may never happen if we hadn't prompted them with our form of self expression.

    Just a thought. Fluffy is good too. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. Totally agree! In fact my mom uses Les Miserables as an example of that, portraying prostitution in that time period in its devastating light. And it provides a jumping off point for discussion, as you said.

      I also think we can accomplish this while taking a stand and expressing an opinion. To go back to my example of The Newsroom, there's a speech in one of the first episodes where the main character talks about how they're going to be revamping the show, to be more direct and hard hitting. What he says is that he's not going to be afraid to express his own thoughts and opinions, and also he is going to do his utmost to invite intelligent and reliable sources with whom he disagrees onto the show to express theirs. I think that's where art can excel.

      Great comments!

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  6. I've always had a low opinion on Aaron Sorkin, simply because he really lets his biases show. He just solidifies my opinion that no Democrat can do no wrong and no Republican can do no right.

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    1. Ya know, I was really worried about that in starting this show, but at least for me personally I feel like they've done a really great job. The main character is a republican who is not afraid to take other republicans to task when he feels dishonesty is happening, and its refreshing. They've done a good job making it about intelligent honesty rather than liberal versus conservative.

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  7. I haven't seen The Newsroom but your reaction to it reminds me of people's reaction to All in the Family - a groundbreaking totally un-PC (before PC was even a phrase) sitcom from the 1970s.

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    1. Haha :) Awesome. Maybe this is the next show I need to check out...

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