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Wank Fest #1: Rick Cleveland and the making of In Excelsis Deo - ww_renaissance — LiveJournal
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Wank Fest #1: Rick Cleveland and the making of In Excelsis Deo
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From: lidbit91 Date: November 28th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whoa.
first of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. I'd been wanting to read it for a year and just assumed it was long gone.
You know, in a way, this kind of (and don't be mad) makes me like Sorkin even more. I just think that there is so much BS in the world right now, and everyone's got a publicisit and God forbid anybody see how a person really is, as it might interfere with someone’s personal gain, and don't even get me started on politics...
So, I just think that it's sort of refreshing to see a (really idiotic, yet) realistic unfolding of events. For better or worse, it's a very honest turn of events, in my opinion.
Ok, so I guess I'm gonna be playing devil's advocate here, but I certainly don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. I'm not condoning his behavior, I'm just trying to understand it as someone who has always admired his work.

I've been reading TWoP for about 3 years, but I've never really ventured into the boards, because well... fandom boards scare me. I never read the site when it was MBTV, though.

I should probably give a disclaimer that I watch way too much tv. And it's mostly serialized shows, I rarely watch reruns or cable during the day. I’ll watch shows that I hate, just because I have to know what happens and I like adding to the library of stuff that I've seen, as it helps me to see where shows get it wrong.
I also don't have a lot of people who I can speak intelligently with about the shows I like. Most of my friends/family don't really look below the surface of tv, and find my interest in it to be somewhat superficial. Reading TWoP was always a good way for me to see what other people thought of shows, while having a sort of assurance that they were being paid to perform this job, and therefore must have some credentials to back them up. Whereas... I mean, without sounding too much like Sorkin, there are a lot of wackos out there. And... the world wide web does give them all a kind of megaphone.
I've read ( and continue to read, when I can) the first four and a half season's worth of recaps at TWoP, and I've found them really valuable in seeing other reactions to the show. Regardless of your opinion of the site, I think that Deborah did a good job of putting aside whatever her personal reaction to Sorkin may have been, and writing the recaps (somewhat) objectively. I found her to be intelligent, basically fair, and helpful in understanding some of the finer details of the show. I do disagree with a LOT of what she has said/thought about the show, but I don't think that that makes her dumb or a bad person. So I guess my point is just that while I understand the criticisms against TWoP, I think there is something to be said for it.
Alright, jeez, I have to split this into two posts.

From: lidbit91 Date: November 28th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

...continued

So at the moment, I'm still in school, but would eventually like to work in television, my end goal being something akin to what Sorkin does (you know, fingers crossed).
I completely understand Sorkin's desire to write (almost) every episode himself, and it's one of my favorite aspects of the show. I find it admirable because, yes, it’s obviously a lot of work, but I think that when tv shows have a consistent voice throughout every episode, it ends up working a lot better than shows that don't. And say what you will about Sorkinuity, but he basically always stays true to the characters, which is frankly the most important part of a show.
So I sympathize with him, because I think if I ever had my own show, it would really be hard for me to have any of the episodes be written by other people. Although I don't really feel the same way about his class/substitute teacher analogy. I sort of think that's just his way of being nice about the fact that he doesn't really trust other people to write the show. I would imagine that being the creator/showrunner of your own show is somewhat like having a child, and I think that it's a natural inclination to want to protect that child and to think you know what’s best for it.

Having said all that, I don't really know what was going through Sorkin's mind during all this. It seems like a profoundly stupid thing to do, but at the same time, I can kind of understand the post being sort of an unedited, initial reaction to things that were being said about him.
I know he's done a lot of bad things, and I know that he's said a lot of bad things, but... he's an artist. Many of the good ones aren't exactly the same people who you would invite to babysit your kids, you know what I mean? He's kind of crazy, and he's kind of an ass, but in the end, I find that (when he's not using his work as an attack on those who’ve offended him) his work and his talent counteract his... assholic tendencies.

Ok, this went really long, and I doubt anybody really cares what I think this much, but God knows I could go on for days, so... sorry.
skywaterblue From: skywaterblue Date: November 28th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: ...continued

I know he's done a lot of bad things, and I know that he's said a lot of bad things, but... he's an artist. Many of the good ones aren't exactly the same people who you would invite to babysit your kids, you know what I mean? He's kind of crazy, and he's kind of an ass, but in the end, I find that (when he's not using his work as an attack on those who’ve offended him) his work and his talent counteract his... assholic tendencies.

I agree with the sentiment in practice. A lot of artists have self-destructive tendencies. It would be one thing if he was just a drug addict -- a lot of addicts have made amazing work in their thrall. We have pity for people who get caught up in drugs. The problem with Sorkin seems to be that his dysfunction isn't really the drugs but the rage and bitterness he keeps holding on too.

A lot of artists do roman a' clef work, but Sorkin's the only one I can think of at the moment so blatantly continuing to spew venom.

My advice to you if you want to pursue a career in any type of art, however, is not to piss people off. Do not do what Sorkin is doing to his career. The only reason Sorkin continues to work is because he's so fucking talented that people are willing to put up with this for the chance to make a lot of money. Most people will never be as naturally talented as he is or as lucky.

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