25 June 2012

fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
Stuff like this essay on The West Wing writer Aaron Sorkin's new telly-prog is largely why I have a soft spot for Warren Ellis:

But, as a middle-aged white man, I take issue with the notion that it takes a Great White Man to fix the culture, and that shitting on every woman in the room to do it is just quirky, grumpy collateral damage. I’m pretty sure that’s been tried, over here in the real world. And here we are.

Go read the whole thing as well as the interview with Sorkin by Sarah Nicole Prickett (Globe&Mail comments: abandon all hope etc...etc... but it's a great article beyond merely the Sorkin interview bit), where he spends the entire thing lurching wildly from being pre-emptively defensive about a project I think everyone kinda hoped would be good and openly patronising and talking down to the interviewer and her shockingly post-modern lack of testicles, which pretty effectively torpedoes any hope that America was about to produce a show that could step into the long emptied shoes of satirical news sitcom Drop the Dead Donkey.

Which to be fair was in and of itself a forlorn hope at the mention that it was going to go the alt history topical news route, as DtDD went with the afaik still unreplicated feat of building the "News" background of each episode around events that had happened during the week immediately prior to that particular episode aired – though that would have meant that the show couldn't cheat and that it had to have opinions, which US shows can't really do lest it cause Teh Outrages from conservative viewers (which thereby forbids pretty much anything that isn't rape for some reason, bearing in mind that Sesame Street was at one point during the 70s banned in The South because it upset the same conservatives by daring to have a black man in a position of authority over muppets).

Of course if it had been topical it also couldn't have EVERY episode be a didactic rant about how to properly cover $DEEPLY_SERIOUS_EVENT... because then it'd have to address the main reason why 24 news is so shockingly bad; i.e. that the quality of the newsroom behind the cameras and the people in front of them is largely due to the 24hours being forced by their format to hire people because they're very good at spinning a woman who dumped a cat in a recycling bin into something that can fill 24 hours a day worth of rolling news coverage with, because that is basically the bulk of their programming. And then these poor idiots who get hired behind the cameras have to try their best, given no one in the newsroom with the appropriate experience or knowledge set becuase they all were either fired becuase they wanted to be paid in money or left because the 24hours' work ethos sucks on toast, to find a way for these vapid news-douches to report about the occasional war that happens in a region that no one at the 24hours has heard of nor knows anything about, during the fleeting moments when actual news occurs.

Modern News is dull turds polished to a shine with the occasional golden nugget that was supposed to justify the whole thing but which poor reportage from the turd polishers renders more shitty than the actual turds.

That's before I point out that this whole Great Man myth is what Piers Morgan believes in as well, is in fact what he belives to be reality as performed by himself as the Great Man – really; when he was harassing celebrities or stalking grieving relatives or engaging in insider trading or trying to cash in on the coalition torture scandals or calling all the models too thin and all the actresses too fat, he thought that he was genuinely doing journalism properly, doing it the right way, the News of the World way, unlike those commies in the guardian or those sycophants at the Times. Sorkin's Newsroom is thus not merely an alternate history show, but is in fact a weird psychedelic trip into an alternate dimension that only Piers Morgan is normally able to contact, where all his delusions are true and he was always able to know ahead of time important facts about a story that allow him to tell it all the Right Way.

What if Piers Morgan is right?

What if Piers Morgan was American all along just like a real boy?

Only Sorkins is the Great Man capable of asking such hard hitting questions and then answering them within the context of a fictional world of his own creation.

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fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)

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