February 17, 2011

The Social Network

By Robb Witmer Full  |  February 17, 2011

Maybe Mark Zuckerberg is an asshole. Maybe he's not. If I had to decide where he fits into the Team America Dick-Asshole-Pussy Paradigm, I'd have to say Dick.

Actually, now that I think of it, it's a no-brainer. The whole movie is kind of based on the DAPP.

Team America tells us "the problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn't appropriate." That is exactly what Zuckerberg does. He fucks his one and only friend (Pussy), and fairly inappropriately.

He also sticks it on into a triumvirate of rich, raging Assholes on his way there. In Zuckerberg's defense, they did want to shit all over him. And since he's a dick -- a reckless, arrogant and stupid dick -- he can't really help it, can he?

Sometimes in this world, that is what it takes to get something great done. Regardless of what your opinion is of the Facebook interface itself, there's no arguing that it rivals Google as the biggest cultural force in the history of the Internet, right up there with the "I like turtles" kid.

The Social Network could turn out to be a goddamn masterpiece. Only several years and multiple viewings will tell for sure, but for now it seems flawless. The script is tight and fast, every performance is spot-on, the score is not only tension-building but sometimes downright frightening, and every frame is visually stunning.

David Fincher must be an enormous prick.

We're definitely knee-deep in ambiguous morality immediately upon entering the story. After the very first scene of the movie, our main character tells us, "That's not what happened." Nobody can be believed.

The emotional testimony that the entire movie is based on is, we are reminded by one of Zuckerberg's lawyers, is 85% exaggeration and 15% perjury. Perfect.

Whether we can believe these people is not the point. They believe what they are telling themselves, and it doesn't matter if it's true or not. As long as it satisfies their desire for money, jealousy, revenge, or recognition, then it's true enough.

Every seduction in the movie leads to a betrayal. The Winklevii were seduced by Zuckerberg's reputation. Eduardo was seduced by the prospect of founding an Internet behemoth. Zuckerberg thought Sean Parker was his best chance at another only friend.

At the end, our main character is left with nothing. Or with everything he's ever wanted. The tragedy is that no one, not even himself, knows which it is.

Robb Witmer Full would rather not take a position on where he fits into the DAPP.