A while back, Zack Braff blocked me on Twitter. I don’t know why. I’d never tweeted or interacted with him on Twitter in any way whatsoever, but I have written glowing things about Scrubs more than nearly anyone on the Internet. Because I love it. It is literally my favorite sitcom of all time (I even liked season 9, damnit).
But no biggie. I get it. Maybe he read that I’d given him a hard time about that Kickstarter business. Maybe he’d read Vivian’s thrashing of the Kickstarter movie, Wish You Were Here (a movie I can’t bring myself to watch because I can’t face the disappointment). I dunno, but I completely understand why someone would want to block a site that has written negatively about him, because why should you put up with that shit? You only live once. I would’ve blocked me, too.
Anyway, I mention this by way of introduction to a Twitter scrum that Zach Braff got into today, in which he got upset and earnestly displayed his upsetted-ness, which is reason enough for the Internet to pile on, because sometimes the Internet doesn’t love Zach Braff, unless it does love him, like when he’s singing Christmas songs with Turk, or helps a dude propose to his girlfriend, or photobombs a some engagement photos (the Internet is very fickle, no?)
The subject that provoked Braff’s Twitter outburst was Garden State, and specifically a piece about how much we loved the movie when it was released, but how much we hated it a year later. I’m not sure what prompted this, except maybe that Natalie Portman got her feelings hurt last week when she learned that the woman of Broad City — which she loves — expressed the feeling that Garden State is uncool.
Whatever the reason, Braff read this post, and he responded on Twitter:
@danozzi I'll bet you are a nice guy. Why write something so cruel?! You're a writer!!!! It was my first film!!! For what?! Click?!?!— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) September 15, 2015
Then someone else weighed in, and Zach Braff responded to that.
@Cyrus_is_risen I wish you and your loved ones peace and glory.— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) September 15, 2015
And then the Internet had a good laugh. Har har.
But man, why? This is a movie that some people loved very much in 2004 (I was one of them!), and while many of those people stopped loving it in 2005, it still gave them some joy for a year. Times changed, and we don’t do manic-pixie dreamgirls anymore, and maybe Garden State hasn’t aged well (I don’t know. I haven’t watched it since I saw it in theaters). But what was once cool transformed into something uncool, and once it was considered uncool, people piled on Zach Braff, even though he never changed but he did write and direct a movie that people loved for a year. The bastard! And then he got mad/hurt on Twitter and people thought that was funny, too, and … why does this suddenly sound like every bullying situation in junior high school ever, with some jackass picking on the earnest kid while everyone stands around in a circle and points and laughs, which makes the kid more upset, which provokes even more laughter because we are a cruel fucking society of arrogant monsters.
I’ll just repeat what I wrote here when the Internet began their excoriation of the Wish You Were Here trailer way back when, because it still applies: You can’t take cool points with you when you die, folks (unless you have awesome flame decals on your coffin. VAROOOM). Nobody’s dying words were ever, “Man, I wish I’d spent more time being cynical.” Nobody ever says, “I just wish I had more opportunity to trash the earnest efforts of others. If I could’ve just left ONE more Internet comment belittling that filmmaker or artist or songwriter that was dumb enough to expose their vulnerabilities, I could’ve lived a more complete life!”
I’m sure Mr. Vice writer is feeling very cool today. He got called out by Zach Braff! He’ll wear that tweet like a proud badge and show all his friends that he made Zach Braff red-faced on the Twitters. Good for him.
Me? I’d rather wear my heart on my sleeve, even if it does mean getting my ass kicked by the Internet every once in a while.
And thank you for clicking.