Aaron Sorkin's 'To Kill A Mockingbird' and the Myth of "Rational Racism"

As protesters take to the streets, and cops respond with violence, it's become clear that more and more people understand that racism isn't something you can get rid of through vigourous debate. The issue is systemic, and when that system will not be reformed, and the lives of Black people are at risk, protest is the only way to make the voices of the marginalized heard. Rob, Cado, and Gita sit down to talk about the past week’s protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police, and the myth of there being a “correct way” to protest. Then Gita and Rob discuss the two different versions of Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill A Mockingbird that they attended way back when theater was still a thing, and how the play subtly deconstructs Atticus Finch's normally unimpeachable nobility.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxqd5z/aaron-sorkins-to-kill-a-mockingbird-and-the-myth-of-rational-racism-waypoint-radio

I wonder how much Sorkin, given the stated and seemingly conscious similarities of the Obama White House with the West Wing, feels that the election of Trump was a rebuke specifically of him.


He probably took it far more personally than warranted.

I don’t think I’m alone in admiring in Sorkin protagonists when I was younger. It’s probably fairly common among middle class teenage boys who weren’t “alpha” in high school. The myth of the perfect comeback, l’esprit de l’escalier, etc. etc. If only society just appreciated your Socratic genius. I’m glad I’ve grown out of that phase and have a much healthier skepticism of technocratic fetishism and also auteur-like creative figures, particularly ones who are still alive.


I’ll call it luck, but I’ve somehow managed to never see a single thing Aaron Sorkin has done, and at this point I don’t think I’ll bother

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Oh I definitely felt like this as well then realised eventually that having the perfect comeback would probably just play out like the Comeback episode of Seinfeld


The amount of ostensibly-intelligent young people I’ve seen pursue high-end educations through into political careers who still swan over the West Wing is, frankly, terrifying.

I say this as someone who is both a writer and has a copy of the Bread book stapled to their flesh: Sorkin can write the hell out of some dialogue when he tries. I know a lot of it has to do with my predilection for Hoffman, but there are more chestnuts in Charlie Wilson’s War than in most of the western canon, never mind that that entire movie is like a hand-wringing centrist do-nothing nightmare.


Oh right I totally forgot to post the one thing I came here to do.


Never mind. Sorkin can’t write and neither can I.

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Oops. Don’t meet your heroes!