Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Social Network


I guess I really started to feel it with rap music. The generation gap, I mean. My parents didn’t understand rock and roll, and I suspect their parents didn’t understand jazz and swing. I don’t get rap. I don’t like it, never will. If you’re younger than me (and I’ve started to feel that almost everybody is) the chances are good that you like rap.

I don’t see myself as a technophobe. I’m writing this on a computer, which I also use for email and research and (guilty pleasure) watching foolish stuff on YouTube. You’re reading this on my website. I have a cell phone with a camera in it somewhere.. But you will search for me on Facebook or MySpace in vain. I have never sent a text message. I don’t Face, I don’t Space, I don’t text, I don’t game, and I don’t Twit. I don’t Friend. I’m a little proud, I guess, to announce that I have ZERO Friends. I am proud to say that I am NOT one of the 600,000,000 humans on the planet who have joined the Social Network. So my interest in the latest invention by the newest baby billionaire was less than zero.

However, this was an important film written by a great writer and it got terrific reviews, so I knew that, sooner or later, I would reluctantly sit down and pop in the DVD. (Another thing I don’t do is download movies.) So, I expected to have a lot of trouble with it, since I am totally uninterested in the subject. What I didn’t expect was to loathe the subject so intensely. The subject being Mark Zuckerberg.

(Let me emphasize that I’m speaking of the character created on the screen. I don’t know anything about Mr. Z except that he’s a Zillionaire. I’m not so stupid as to believe that a Hollywood biography has more than a nodding acquaintance with the facts. However, since they do use the real names of all these people, including Sean Parker, Larry Summers, and the Whiffenpoof Twins, or whatever the hell their name is, I have to assume nothing we see is libelous, and that the outline of the story could be proved in a court of law, if need be. That’s pretty bad; he’s obviously a liar and a cheat. But if you sat down and talked with Z for a while, one to one, I don’t know if he would come off as the breathtakingly awful person we see here. This is the character/subject I’m talking about.)

In the first five minutes, in one conversation with his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend, I grew to hate this obnoxious, self-important, egotistical, mean, heartless lump of human garbage as I’ve seldom hated any character in any movie. I felt like cheering when the girl delivered the punch line to the scene: “Mark, it’s not because you’re a nerd that girls don’t go out with you. It’s because you’re an asshole.”

That’s the first five minutes! For the rest of the movie he just gets worse and worse with every ensuing scene. And I got the creepy feeling that the generation of Harvard Twits that we see playing their social dominance games, and all the wannabe Twits out there on the vast Facebook billboard, actually like this piece of shit, and what he did.

So it’s well-written, and well-acted, and a real ordeal to finish. I pretty much hated it. I’m so glad it didn’t win the Oscar.