Aaron Sorkin’s Liberal Fantasy Runs the World by Gita Jackson

God I love it when smart writers (Gita) dunk on clever writers (Sorkin). I feel like I can track the development of my ideological maturity with how I’ve felt about Sorkin over the years.

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I never really got introduced to the Aaron Sorkin people liked. I only really knew him through some of the characters he inspired (Arrow’s Felicity Smoak was descibed as Sorkin-esque), and then essentially as neoliberalism’s chief propagandist. I don’t know if he was the one who invented the “unreasonable left” frame, but he certainly deployed it enough in The West Wing and now it’s everywhere.

You even see it in The Batman. The mayor who wins the election is like “We need to rebuild people’s faith in institutions!” without ever stopping to ponder if the institutions may have had something to do with the movie’s conflicts in the first place. Endless “good cop”-isms while the world gets ground into a fine paste. Sorkin has much to answer for.

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Just wild there was a movie in 2021 where the day is saved by J. Edgar Hoover. Real glad I didn’t see Being the Ricardos.

It reminds me of like, early modern dramas, Tartuffe for example, where the villain is defeated by the infinite wisdom of the King seeing through the villain’s duplicity. A Rex Ex Machina, fully buying into the power structure of society. At least the production of Tartuffe I saw knew to wink at the audience with that ending “yeah, we know this is bullshit”.

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