Random Factoid #495

5 12 2010

We’ve been doing some debates in my Economics class over certain hot-button issues (bailouts, Social Security), and the sessions always end with an open forum for those not participating to throw questions at the debaters.  I’ve been particularly bold, throwing out questions that aren’t easy to answer without the debaters sacrificing their cause to avoid looking like a villain.  It’s earned me a certain … reputation, if you will indulge me.

So, who do I have to thank for this?  Two movie characters who I’d like to thank with this post:

Marylin Delpy (Rashida Jones) in “The Social Network.” Chances are you don’t know the character’s name off the top of your head; I sure didn’t.  Yet her impact in David Fincher’s “The Social Network” is so crucial, particularly in her final scene with the vulnerable Zuckerberg.  She speaks to her abilities to sway a jury in even the simplest of manners.  Delpy talks specifically about the power of the question; even if you can’t prove something, you can get a jury thinking about it by merely suggesting it.  A question has a power to sway anything even if that person has the right answer.  You can get them on how they phrase that answer, how long it takes them to come up with their answer, how eloquently they deliver their answer.

Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) in “Thank You For Smoking.” Obviously, the smooth-talking lobbyist with a swagger all of his own is the main influence though.  As Naylor puts it, “Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk. Everyone has a talent.”  His pointed way of phrasing questions and insatiable desire to be right has definitely been very influential, as well as blending wrong and right to form this vast gray area through which Naylor walks comfortably.  As he says, “If I prove that you’re wrong, I’m right.”  It’s an interesting ideology, and one that can be debated over its correctness.  However, I have definitely learned from Naylor that if you are looking to quickly win an important argument, the quickest way to sway the tide in your direction is by proving the other person wrong.


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2 responses

8 12 2010
Simon/Ripley

Shit, she had a name? I thought she was one of those nameless voice-of-reason types movies love.

8 12 2010
Fitz

Naylor is still one of my favorite comedy roles. It’s also the role that landed Eckhart Harvey Dent.

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