I finally saw The Social Network this weekend. So I can now agree that the movie's misogyny, pace Sorkin's defense, was indeed staggering and the notion that most Harvard geeks (or most anyone else) ever gave a shit about Final Clubs, let alone the Phoenix, was obsolete in my day in the 1980s, let alone now. Of course, getting laid is the underlying goal, sublimated or not, attenuated or not, of most undergraduate life. So they got that right.
But it was a gripping movie in its own right, very Sorkin in its acidic wit and one-liners, brilliantly acted by Jesse Eisenberg (if not Justin Timberlake) and really did capture the excitement of being at the dawn of an online venture and watching it take off in real time. Of course, my tiny-in-comparison experience was with a little blog and four years' earlier. But the wonder at this new technology - and the priapic psychic boner of its potential - was beautifully evoked. It hasn't gone away - along with the sense that the sheer creative destruction is the point, not the money. And getting there first, even by a whisker, still matters. But somehow I missed the coke orgies and the billions. Bummer.
Of course, this fictional Zuckerberg is an asshole.
But he was a brilliant, funny, hard-working asshole, compared with the douchebags always on his shoulder, having almost the right formula, not quite as much talent, and far less psychic need to prevail. In the end, I have to say, I was rooting for Zuckerberg, however gorgeous the smarmy WASPs and however appealing the winsome, rained-on Eduardo. The moment that rang truest for me was when their server went down and Zuckerberg went nuts on the phone, insisting that any disruption, any glitch, could destroy the whole rhythm and ruin the entire experiment. I had exactly that conversation in the early days of the Dish, with more expletives, and a little more desperation. Good times.
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