From The Files Of...

...rant on.

Two things in the pages of this month's Empire magazine caught my attention, both from Damon Wise's review of The Social Network, available online and on page fifty of the magazine.

Empire's Thor Cover

1 - 'Fincher gives it the veneer of a modern-day All The President's Men'

This bit isn't a rant so apologies for the false advertising, but I found it interesting that this was the second time I'd seen The Social Network compared to All The President's Men following an early review from Scott Foundas which was referenced in our own review, making me think that this is an even more accurate comparison than I originally thought and that the films have a huge amount in common.

2 - '[Zuckerberg is] from a logged-in, left-out generation that knows little of beauty and even less of feeling'

This is the ranty bit because I hate generational generalisations such as this. What Mr Wise is saying is that every member of Zuckerberg's generation can't feel and doesn't understand beauty because they happen to understand these new-fangled computer things. That'll be my generation then and I'm sorry, Sir, but I'm not having that.

Your 'the youth of today' style finger-wagging lumps the insufferable character Jesse Eisenberg portrays in with every other man or woman that fills his age group, many of whom, I'm sure, are tremendous human beings and most of whom, I'm also sure, you've never met. Your pigeon-holing of an entire generation of young people reeks of the kind of tutting, disapproving, air of superiority forty-somethings on buses eschew, pointing out the youngster who won't give up his or her seat whilst simultaneously remaining rooted to theirs. The problem, Sir, is with the type of individual person who writes sentiments such as these, devaluing a generation before they've barely started, and not with every member of said group of people.

Rant off.


  1. I shall try to keep myself under control.

  2. I know what you mean about that comment but I'm guilty of this in my own writing when referring to certain cultural movements. Only recently I was writing about the slasher 'generation' and the culture of teenage promiscuity exploited in the movies. I don't think it's necessarily wrong but lacking clarification. Perhaps reference to a clique would be more specific.

  3. Yes, good point Dan. I think maybe if the review had referred specifically to a group of people (code-writers who never leave their bedrooms perhaps) then it would be guilty of stereotyping (like the slasher films you refer to) but not much more. The fact though, that Wise has taken the argument to a place 'outside' of the film - rather than sticking with critiquing the Zuckerberg character and other characters in the movie - and moved on to a throw-away critique of a real-life generation is what irked me.

    Having said that, I am sympathetic to and understanding of, anyone who wants to say 'over-reaction'!