...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

What He Said
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (3)
Share on Facebook
So you know I'm a fan of "West Wing" a major reason being the writing of Aaron Sorkin, who rates with me one of the highest spit-take factors of anyone writing today. He has a way of writing that makes me out of control giggle. And then there are the serious times, when he says something that makes me sometimes gasp, sometimes punch a fist in the air.

I like this stuff enough that I've actually purchased some books about the tv show, including two books with some of the scripts/teleplays from the first four seasons. Stu, when he used to watch Aaron Sorkin's "Sports Night" would talk about "Sorkin moments" in a script, and I know now what he means.

The first script in the book of season 3/4 scripts is the post 9/11/2001 show called "Isaac and Ishmael". It's not in the story arc, but it's a post 9/11 universe at the White House, and there's been a lockdown during which a bunch of special bright students have been stuck in the West Wing along with the staff.

Girl #4: You know a lot about terrorism?

Sam: I dabble.

Girl #4: What are you struck by most?

Sam: Its 100% failure rate.

Boy #4: Really?

Sam: Not only do terrorists always fail at what they're after, they pretty much always succeed in strengthening whatever it is they're against.

There's some talk about various examples, and how whatever it is the terrorists oppose, whether they're the IRA, the Basque separatist movement, Baader-Meinhof, those structures still exist and are still functioning.

Girl #2: Can I go back to what you said at the beginning?

Sam: Yeah.

Girl #2: They keep doing it anyway.

Sam: Yeah.

Girl #2: They're not frustrated by the failure.

Sam: No.

So maybe it's not about success and failure, my brain says. Maybe it's just the process. We cannot, most of us, begin to comprehend what drives the rage, the hate, the anger. Okay, maybe you can, but I cannot. I do understand rage and what it drives you to to some degree, but this sort of stuff just baffles me. Thirty years ago I was baffled by the concept of the weapons race, the build-up of nuclear weapons by the superpowers so that by the time we stopped we could kill every human on the planet many times over. And I just couldn't get that. I kept thinking "I'm a poli sci major, I should get this". And you know? There was nothing to get.

Maybe it's not about succeeding. It just IS. Nothing is won. Much is lost, and it goes on. They just do it to do it and we will never fix things, find a way to resolve things.

Of course, later on in the show, as they continue to discuss freedom and liberty and security and all those things that concern us every damn day, there's this

Toby: You know what Benjamin Franklin said?

C.J.: (pause) He said 'Hey, look, I've invented the stove.'

And then I spit out my drink on the book and we're back to what passes for normal 'round here.

Read/Post Comments (3)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.