Everything I Know About Elite America I Learned From ‘Fresh Prince’ and ‘West Wing’
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I took the recommendation seriously. This was the first show that two Ivy League graduates had ever recommended to me. It suddenly seemed important to understand. What if I attended college and someone referenced the show and I didn’t get it?
I started watching “The West Wing.” As I watched, I had an uncomfortable realization: “The West Wing” is not very good.
The show had the pacing of a 90s TV drama (fair enough); the way the characters spoke seemed strange to me (though I’ve since grown to enjoy “Sorkinese”). Still, I kept watching, because I was intrigued by what it told me about the people who’d recommended it.
It turns out, as the show’s creator, Aaron Sorkin, has explained, if I didn’t like the show, that’s in part because I wasn’t really meant to. The pilot episode didn’t test well with people like me. But, according to Mr. Sorkin, it tested “extremely well” with certain audience segments. Among them: households that earned more than $75,000 a year, households with at least one college graduate and households that subscribed to The New York Times.
No wonder I didn’t make it past the first couple of episodes of The West Wing.
Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba
October 12, 2020 at 6:32 PM #367602
October 12, 2020 at 7:51 PM #367632mrdmkParticipant
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If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields
October 12, 2020 at 8:21 PM #367642Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
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I thought it was kind of a snooze too
October 12, 2020 at 9:03 PM #367654Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
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“What I can’t quite disentangle is whether it taught me how to get what I had always wanted or taught me what to want.”
taught him what to want
thats what culture does, wherever you find it
thats the fallacy of belief in ‘individualism’
October 12, 2020 at 9:55 PM #367679MizzGrizzParticipant
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To my parents,who were working class,a college teacher,even an adjunct professor,made more money in a week than they did in a year.To my mother,who was nothing if not aspirational,a college professor was rich.
And yet those same faculty people poor mouthed in a way I found disgusting.They were comparing themselves to those on the rung above THEM—doctors and lawyers.To them,they were on the bottom rung of the upper middle class.And they feared falling every bit as much as my family did.
October 13, 2020 at 4:02 AM #367798snotParticipant
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decades of movies while spending more time at home… I missed a lot of them when they first came out… the differences in values, culture, propaganda, etc. are frankly shocking once you start looking at them in close juxtaposition with each other, with those aspects in mind.
The really great movies from every decade, made by independents or visionaries powerful or clever enough to control their product, are classic and still ring true. But many others are transparently about creating or reinforcing consumerism or other attitudes convenient for the 1% at the time the movies were made.
Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.
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