Wednesday, February 17, 2016
You know who Aaron Sorkin is, don't you? The name may not ring a bell immediately, but you recall The West Wing TV series, and more recently The News Room. My favourite was the short-lived Sports Night. Sorkin films? How about The Social Network and Moneyball and A Few Good Men...you get it. He's impressive.
On our way home from London on Monday we listened to a CBC q rebroadcast of an interview with Sorkin done around the time that the rather unsuccessful Steve Jobs was released. It was an interesting discussion of creativity and taking risks and that sort of stuff. Near the end interviewer Shad asked a question about the biggest knock on Sorkin, the often high-minded wordiness of his characters.
This was the best part of the interview for me because Sorkin enthusiastically defended preachiness. He actually used the word "preachy" in a positive manner, noting that the effective use of words is power. He used Barack Obama's early speech at a Democratic convention as an example. While some dismissed Obama saying "sure that was a good speech, but can he govern" Sorkin reminded listeners that we are stirred by words.
I was delighted that being "preachy" was defended so thoughtfully. I work hard at preaching and still put considerable effort into preparing for virtually every public speaking occasion. When I went before Belleville Council recently I took the better part of two hours to figure out what I wanted to say in the ten minutes allotted to me. Actually, shorter presentations often require more effort. I don't stick slavishly to my text, as many of you know, but I am always prepared.
I believe that my words as a servant of God matter, and I will continue to be "preachy" in the best way I am able.
Do you agree that the effective use of words is powerful? Are you okay with "preachy" being used in a positive sense?