Monday, September 18, 2006

Studio Stick It To 'Em

Note to Sorkin: We know what you are doing. You think if you create a Christian character, and make her cute and smart, that you are then covered to say every nasty rotten, bigotted thing you want about Christians.

It doesn't. You can't.

For the record, we know what you're doing. It's called... /?to?k??n?z?m/ Pronunciation[toh-kuh-niz-uhm] –noun
1. the practice or policy of making no more than a token effort or gesture, as in offering opportunities to minorities equal to those of the majority.
2. any legislation, admissions policy, hiring practice, etc., that demonstrates only minimal compliance with rules, laws, or public pressure: Admitting one woman to the men's club was merely tokenism.

Bigotted people do tokenism to cover their asses from charges of being bigotted. Just to say.

And I'd get really mad about it, except that I think the audience is going to reject Studio 60 as just more really lame exercise in Hollywood narcissim.

So, getting mad about the intolerance of "crazy Christians" would be swinging at a pitch in the dirt.

So, we'll just pray for you instead. On some level, it's fascinating how much we Christians are getting to you.

P.S. Some folks are claiming thatthe writing in Studio 60 was remarkably stellarly fantastic the amazing like of which we have never seen before. Yawn. So not true. And here's why.

Bad writing is a writer telling the audience how to feel. In last night's episode, we were supposed to believe that an episode of a SNL clone show that pilloried Christians was somehow brave and daring. See, that's where the writing tripped up. We were being told that savaging Christians for laughs was a rare act of courage, spitting in the eye of the cowering network establishment that dwells in mind-numbing terror of the awesomely powerful group which will foreverafter be known as CHR_STIANS(!) for fear of saying the complete name and bringing down their all-consuming wrath.

In fact, savaging Chr_stians on everything from SNL to Law and Order to the Brooklyn Museum of Art has become commonplace and . So, the show was telling us that a character was being brave, when in fact, he was being trite. This is the definition of bad writing.

If Sorkin et al. really wanted to brave it would have been easily achieved. Have the controversial skit be called, "Crazy Violent Religion of Peace!" or "Melancholic Rich Secular Jews!" or "Nutty Inconsistent Liberals". See, that would have been brave. And shocking.

The joke is, pillorying Chr_stians in this particular moment of history is as close to ostrich head in the sand syndrome as could be imagined. Yeah, let's all rip the Chr_stians for imagined attacks on free speech while the Mulims are coming at us hurling amonium nitrate and literally taking away your right to life. The Chr_stians you hate will certainly be the ones dying to save you.



Anonymous said...

I saw Studio 60 last night and found it heartening that there was a Christian character - token or not. The fact of the matter is that the Hollywood establishment has been hostile towards evangelicals for some time and evangelicals have, most recently, been petitioning the FCC for their offenses in a way that has seemed offensive to the establishment. We can live in a world of us (using the FCC) vs. them (awarding films like Brokeback Mountain which will lead to "Christian only" films and TV; and separate us from the zeitgeist. I doubt that will help us reach out to our neighbor.

Quite frankly, I think this is a step in the right direction and it'll make it easier for the next Frank Capra (be he Catholic, Protestant, etc.) to market his/her films and/or TV shows to the general audience

Anonymous said...

Wow Barb, that is far more cynical than I'm used to from you. Cynical enough that I'm actually posting a reply. Aaron Sorkin is one of the more intelligent writers in Hollywood, from Sports Night] to The West Wing he has covered a lot of ground and touched, usually thoughtfully, on a huge number of issues. I watched last night and thought that he handled the subject of a Christian character very well. I hope he will continue to portray a "real" Christian, warts and all, not some stereotypical Christian who is a do-gooder on the outside but wicked on the inside.

I'm not sure why you have it in for Sorkin, but your tirade shows that sometimes even the people whose opinions I respect the most have blinders on sometimes.

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

They did the same thing with "Ainsley Haines" on "The West Wing." I didn't see "Studio 60" but how different was this character from Ainsley?