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At the time, though, I felt distant from Zuckerberg and all the kids at Harvard.
Doubtless years from now I will misremember my closeness to Zuckerberg, in the same spirit that everyone in ’60s Liverpool met John Lennon.Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails, commits exquisite brutality upon Edward Grieg’s already pretty brutal “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” All synths and white noise.It’s music video stuff—the art form in which my not-quite generation truly excels—and it demonstrates the knack for hyperreality that made Fincher’s Fight Club so compelling while rendering the real world, for so many of his fans, always something of a disappointment.But if the hipsters and nerds are hoping for Fincher’s usual pyrotechnics they will be disappointed: in a lawyer’s office there’s not a lot for Fincher to do.He has to content himself with excellent and rapid cutting between Harvard and the later court cases, and after that, the discreet pleasures of another, less-remarked-upon Fincher skill: great casting. Around him Fincher arranges a convincing bunch of 1.0 humans, by turns betrayed and humiliated by him, and as the movie progresses they line up to sue him.Manicured eyebrows, sweaty forehead, and that coked-up, wafer-thin self- confidence, always threatening to collapse into paranoia.
Timberlake shimmies into view in the third act to offer the audience, and Zuckerberg, the very same thing, essentially, that he’s been offering us for the past decade in his videos: a vision of the good life.
Then again, the more time I spend with the tail end of Generation Facebook (in the shape of my students) the more convinced I become that some of the software currently shaping their generation is unworthy of them. From the opening scene it’s clear that this is a movie about 2.0 people made by 1.0 people (Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher, forty-nine and forty-eight respectively).
It’s a talkie, for goodness’ sake, with as many words per minute as His Girl Friday.
I often worry that my idea of personhood is nostalgic, irrational, inaccurate.
Perhaps Generation Facebook have built their virtual mansions in good faith, in order to house the People 2.0 they genuinely are, and if I feel uncomfortable within them it is because I am stuck at Person 1.0. In The Social Network Generation Facebook gets a movie almost worthy of them, and this fact, being so unexpected, makes the film feel more delightful than it probably, objectively, is.
A boy, Mark, and his girl, Erica, sit at a little table in a Harvard bar, zinging each other, in that relentless Sorkin style made famous by The West Wing (though at no point does either party say “Walk with me”—for this we should be grateful).