Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Social Network

Lately I'm discovering the joy of (and cheapness) of sneaking away for an afternoon matinee.  My excuse is that I need to keep up with the culture by seeing what everyone else is seeing. And Facebook fan that I am, I had to see the story of how it came to be.

I did have some warning by feminist critics of the misogyny of this movie.  Women basically exist in this movie to be screwed.  Sorry for my vulgarity but that's how it needs to be said.  I understand this is about college boys and they can be single minded on this subject but I have faith in young men and believe that even they do, somewhere in there, have less superficial relationships.

Interestingly enough, I believe it is the movie's protagonist, Mark Zuckerberg, who was the least misogynist character.  This despite the fact that according to the story, the whole Facebook thing began when his girlfriend dumps him for being asshole and then he proceeds to be even more of an asshole by saying cruel things about her on his blog.

But Mark Zuckerberg  (in the movie anyway) is neither a misogynist nor an asshole.  He's a genius with no social skills.  There is speculation that he has Asperger's syndrome.  Having a son with Asperger's, I saw the familiar signs and all I could feel for the movie character you are supposed to hate was sympathy.  The more of a jerk he was, the more I felt badly for him.  We think we don't act like assholes because we are good people.  We just have learned, through non-verbal and other informal ways how NOT TO ACT like assholes.  Some people don't learn that.  We are not better than them.  We have just learned to lie better.

Even Mark's relationship and eventual betrayal of his only friend Eduardo Saverin is more complicated than it seems.  Despite Saverin's loyalty and obvious love of his friend, he was ill prepared to deal with the growth and vision of his friend's project then called "the Facebook"    He was out of his element trying to be a business manager with an already outdated textbook business model.  Mark tried to warn him "I'm afraid you are going to be left behind".  Even under the best of circumstances, you could see that this was not going to end well.  These were 20 year old BOYS with no life experience, one of whom, never really understood how to be a friend, despite his longing to have them.


  1. Interesting. I have had a bit of hard time taking, at face value, the twins who feel ripped off by the "creator" of facebook. Somehow their story feels a bit "false" to me, like bitter apples. I also would not enjoy sitting through a movie that portrays women in that way. Boys do not need to be "boys" even if that is the way they were. However, I do appreciate your sense that he may have aspergers. That maks sense to me. Anyway, if I see the movie it will be whenever it comes to cable. Being unemployed for over a year I have gone to the movies in ages.

  2. The twins were probably given the least depth of all the players - your stereotypical rich doubt he was inspired to do what he did by an idea they had but like he says in the movie "if you had thought of Facebook you would have done what I did"

    And yes it was very painful to watch some of the scenes with the women.