Aaron Sorkin-Like Presence Invades Facebook In The Name Of ResearchWe invite devoted Defamer readers to think back now, to almost two years ago to the day. The U.S. dollar dominated global free markets. Whitney Houston was in the middle of a liquor-store-robbery crime spree that left dozens dead. And a little show by the name of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip had captured the imaginations of the American working class, caught up weekly in its by-turns harrowing and inspirational tales from the front lines of the network sketch comedy wars. If you're still with us, you'll too recall Defaker, the Defamer-inspired mock gossip site that attempted to promote the series on NBC.com by opening itself up to visitor comments. Several harsh insights followed ("Aaron Sorkin, I'll be seeing you soon! Posted by: Crack | September 21, 2006 08:30 PM" springs to mind), the site was quickly shuttered, and the ill-conceived exercise was chocked up by the lauded series creator as yet another example of the ugliness that will inevitably spring forth from the anonymous blogging wilds.We review all this as introduction to quite possibly the most exciting online development to roll across our virtual desktops in quite some time. Aaron Sorkin, or someone who has gone to a great deal of effort to convince others he is Aaron Sorkin, has emerged from his self-imposed, blogophobic exile to openly embrace the social networking phenomenon known as Facebook. From his introductory letter entitled, Aaron Sorkin & The Facebook Movie:
Welcome. I'm Aaron Sorkin. I understand there are a few other people using Facebook pages under my name—which I find more flattering than creepy—but this is me. I don't know how I can prove that but feel free to test me. I've just agreed to write a movie for Sony and producer Scott Rudin about Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz—three sophmores at Harvard who, in order to meet girls, invented Facebook. I figured a good first step in my preparation would be finding out what Facebook is, so I've started this page. (Actually it was started by my researcher, Ian Reichbach, because my grandmother has more Internet savvy than I do and she's been dead for 33 years.)
The thoughtful contributions to The Wall alone are enough to wipe away the traumatic memories of that angry, faceless Defaker mob. Facebook Sorkin dutifully responds to every comment, along the way reuniting with old acquaintances ("Michael—You did a lot more than fetch pizza and of course I remember you,") and lending fascinating insights into his ambivalence about the very medium he'll elevate with crackling trademark dialogue into a vehicle that could go on to win Justin Long and Joseph Gordon-Levitt their first Oscars. He writes: "[A]s far as the Internet making us meaner, it does remove a natural censor that we have that commands us to treat people with common respect. An exception apparently are the people posting on this board, whose intelligence, humility and wit are extremely frustrating in that they're disproving my point and that drives me nuts." We really hope this is Sorky. If it's just an impostor, then the Internet has gone and proven his point all over again—not to mention the fact that A Few Good Pokes won't be in theaters anywhere come Christmas 2010.