The Kind of Day It’s Been: The Newsroom Thread

I feel about Sports Night the way some people feel about church.

Quo Vadimus has, on occasion, saved my life. That’s not an exaggeration. There are these pieces of writing, okay, that in the hour between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. when I have been on the bathroom floor, I have gone back to. There are foundational things I want inked on me and Quo Vadimus is one of those things. It’s a profound flip, that the Big Bad Wolf you’ve been fearing for months now is actually the thing that rescues you.

But it’s not the way the world works right now.

Quick takes: Oh, just fuck all of TV ever. Babies are not happy endings and they’re not something to do with a female character when you can’t think of anything else to do with her (I’m looking at you, too, Grey’s Anatomy) and they’re certainly not a substitute for working out your issues. I want to start a therapy fund for that kid right now.

NEAL! Walking back in and fighting the same fight he was always fighting, but with the people everyone else dismissed as trivial, because he was once dismissed that way, too.

People I will never be over: LEONA FUCKING LANSING. How magnificent was she? I kept sort of hoping that she would discover an extra 4 billion in her shoe drawer and go buy another network and steal everybody. Sloan, or as Charlie called her, “money skirt,” who was always such a fierce advocate for her stories and such a lousy one for herself, and who loved Charlie almost as much as Leona did. Don, who is an asshole, but who loves Elliot enough to stick with him. Elliot, too: Remember the plane and the protest? The Jim Harper of the first episode or two, the guy who was with Mac in Afghanistan and Iraq, the calm center of the news storm.

People I will not miss one bit: The sad-sack whiny unkempt slumpy Jim Harper we’ve been dealing with for about the last season and a half, who needs to get over himself and say what he means already. Will, actually. I’m almost never in a show for the main character anyway, and his daddy issues and his self-righteous bullshit and his need to be loved were profoundly boring.

Somewhere in this mess, and this show was a mess, was a good idea. Somewhere in here was a good idea worth hearing, and here’s what it was.

Nobody’s coming to save American journalism. Nobody’s coming to save anybody who gives a shit. Nobody, not Charlie Skinner and not Will McAvoy and not even Maggie Jordan — Maggie whose transformation is one of my favorite things about this show, Maggie who just wanted to work — is gonna fix this now. Nobody’s the future and nobody’s the savior and nobody is going to rescue Atlantis Cable News. Lucas Pruitt is a fucktard and will always be. That fight is always going to be a fight.

Hear that, hear what it actually means. That condemnation is its own redemption. No one is coming to save you. Repeat after me. Nobody is coming to save you. So save your own goddamn motherfucking glorious selves. Think about the freedom of that. Think about the way it unties you, shoves you off the cliff, and trusts you to fly.

It’s up to you. I talk about this all the time in my offline and online lives, in my life: If you give a shit about something you are the one who is morally obligated to act, so spare me your peroration on how you’d show up at the protest if only the other people there were dressed the way you wanted them dressed. Spare me the opinion columns about the wars you think other people’s children should fight, the wars you yourself have such a good reason for not fighting.

And once and for all time spare me the fucking St. Crispin’s Day speech you’ll deliver ten minutes before saying you have to go home to pay your bills and put your kids to bed so once more unto the breach, all you other goddamn people. If just one more person Baby-Boomer-splains to me how they used to be idealistic and then they joined the real world I will lose it, I swear to God.

Stop WAITING. For God’s sake, stop being disappointed when no one comes. Stop hating everybody else for being stupid and trivial and obsessed, stop hating the technology at your disposal, stop hating the world you live in for not being the world you want to live in, and stop being so goddamn willing to let yourself off the hook.

Work HARDER. Get better. Get up.


2 thoughts on “The Kind of Day It’s Been: The Newsroom Thread

  1. “I feel about Sports Night the way some people feel about church.”

    It’s dumb and you refuse to pay attention to it?

  2. I loved Sports Night, even though I don’t care anything about sports. It took me a long time to forgive Sorkin for ending it and start watching the show he stopped doing it for–something about the White House, I think.

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