I swear i'll be writing more in 2014

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kick It Stephen Root Down

You may remember him as the beloved Milton, the guy in the office nobody respects.  Stephen Root has had quite a career in film.  He's been in a zillion (only people's names who start with "Z" should be able to use the word zillion) movies and TV shows.  To name a few that I've especially loved: 

  • He's the man who asks you to sing into his can in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • He's the not the "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball" guy in Dodgeball, but he is in the movie.
  • He's in a couple more Coen Bros. movies (The Lady Killers and No Country For Old Men)
  • He was a main character in "Newsradio" and also appeared on many many TV (really, check out IMDB he was even on "24")

What's great about his character in Office Space is that it's a real life person.  No, it's not based on anyone in particular, but every office has the guy (shit, I hope it's not me in mine), every class has the student everyone picks on, and just about in any walk of life with organized group mentality, you have the weak link.  Milton is the zebra that would first be eaten by the chasing saber tooth tiger.   

I'm not sure where this character originated for comedy's sake, whether it was the first nerd (perhaps the nerd in American Graffitt) or Milton himself as being the grown up version of a real nerd.  A point well made in the Harvey Pekar movie, American Splendor, is that the college or high school nerds you see aren't real nerds at all as many grow up to have lucrative careers which eventually land them trophy wives, whereas the real nerds in life (like Milton), are nerds for life and are always picked on no matter what.  It's simple Darwinism.  Other great examples are Butters from "South Park", whom isn't a nerd, but always gets the short end of the straw, Toby from "The Office" who has never really done anything wrong, but he's a wet blanket and well, so annoying that I can't comprehend why anyone would like Toby.  Quite frankly, I always side with Scott thinking Toby deserves to be treated the way Michael Treats.  Damn Toby!  Now that I'm a religious watcher of "Parks and Recreation" you have the Jerry character, whom at first doesn't seem to deserve the shabby treatment, but the more and more you watch the show, you see the more and more he deserves it. 

The fact that this happens in real life isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just happens like many other things in life, and well, it's funny as long as you're not that person.  

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