[FoRK] Nerve

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at endeavors.com
Mon May 3 10:05:39 PDT 2004


I have no agreement with Jeff other
than I agree he should stop reposting posts without
comment or minimalist comments of "I like this or I don't
like this."   As the FAQ states, we're all well read,
show us the bits or get off the list. 
 
On my way back from Europe last week, I got
sucked into an inflight movie about Stephen Glass. 
It's really interesting seeing Hank Azaria play
Michael Kelly, the beloved New Republic editor who went
on to become the editor at The Atlantic Monthly and
later was killed in operation Iraqi Freedom.  
 
In the movie, Hayden Christensen plays Stephen Glass,
a hotshot 90s reporter.  Never since Ridley 
Scott's "Gladiator"'s Joaqin Phoenix's portrayal
of Commodus has such smug hatred been so
accurately portrayed on the screen with one
exception, Glass is portrayed as a likable,
up and coming, talented writer who you want
to like and succeed.   
 
Glass is a people person--people pleasing person with serious
problems of self doubt and inferiority.   In the heavy
stress world of writing for the New Republic, he
manufactures more than half of his stories, addicted
to exposure and seeing his name in print.  What's
really accurately portrayed in the movie too is his
addictive personality to attention and he uses his
aw shucks, walking around the office in socks,  to
manipulate his work environment to salvage his fictional
work as true-sourced non-fictional work.  
 
In the end, he's exposed as the self-centered, immature,
manipulative simpleton that he really is--and not the 
caring person he's made out to be.  In one scene in the
movie, he remembers what one of his coworkers hates
about parties, that the soda is always left out on a table
and she likes hers cold without ice so as not to be watered
down.   What's seen as the extremely over-attentive and sensitive
act of putting a coke bottle in the freezer for her after remembering
her comment from long ago comes across as
spooky weird to the audience, but endearing to the characters
around him.   From a series of portrayals, the director,
Billy Ray, diverges the audiences view of Glass with the
characters caught up in his "please like me" lobbying.   
 
I had heard of the New Republic scandal; I had even read
a few of Glass' pieces, but I hadn't heard of this movie until
forced to watch it.  I was surprised to find myself sucked into
what I thought was yet another made for tv movie.   I'd recommend
it for an Internet rental.  
 
Greg
 
[1] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0323944/combined
 

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: fork-bounces at xent.com on behalf of Contempt for Meatheads 
	Sent: Sun 5/2/2004 2:39 PM 
	To: FoRK 
	Cc: 
	Subject: Re: [FoRK] Nerve
	
	


	On May 2, 2004, at 2:44 PM, Luis Villa wrote:
	
	> On Sun, 2004-05-02 at 13:08 -0500, Contempt for Meatheads wrote:
	>> Greg says:
	>>
	>>> Don't be a bonehead.
	>>
	>> I'm sure that wasn't Greg breaking his agreement and compromising a
	>> week+ of stunning on-list peace.
	>
	> And I'm sure that wasn't Jeff rushing, nay, sprinting to loudly claim
	> the moral high ground instead of letting it pass in silence.
	
	Not taking any moral high ground, here...  I'm merely giving Greg the
	benefit of the doubt.  Rather admittedly conspicuously, but
	nonetheless.  Also pointing out that the last couple of weeks have been
	a marked improvement on the list, in no small part due to Greg's
	self-restraint to this point.  (Slippage as we've seen today's of minor
	concern in itself, but it usually marks the beginning of a downward
	trend.  I'm optimistic, though...) Kudos, and even moreso if it
	continues.
	
	jb
	
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