If I haven’t said anything here (or anywhere else, for that matter) about the passing of Steve Jobs, it’s because it seems redundant to add thoughts when others are doing so with much more personal specificity — about the only thing to be gained from this sad loss has been the outpouring of personal testaments to his culture-changing work, both from those who knew him and those who didn’t.
Or those who fall somewhere in between, as in this oddly touching tribute in Newsweek from star screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, a longtime Mac evangelist who cultivated a semi-friendship with Jobs purely by phone — initiated by the Apple CEO himself. It’s not difficult to see how these two quick-witted, hardworking peddlers of American ideals might have found common ground; neither is it surprising to hear that Jobs was a fan of Sorkin’s snappy, contemporary writing.
Still,Sorkin’s chief memory of Jobs is in a considerably lighter vein, concerning a creative proposal made to him that, again, isn’t too hard to imagine as a reality — Jobs, it seems, wanted a reluctant Sorkin to write a Pixar movie. From the Newsweek piece, here’s Sorkin’s recollection of their phone conversation:
ME: I just-I don”t think I can make inanimate objects talk.
STEVE: Once you make them talk they won”t be inanimate.
ME: The truth is I don”t know how to tell those stories. I have a young kid who loves Pixar movies and she”ll turn cartwheels if I tell her I”m writing one and I don”t want to disappoint her by writing the only bad movie in the history of Pixar.
STEVE: Jeez … write about THAT.
I don’t know about you, but Sorkin’s hypothetical Pixar film kind of writes itself in my head: I can hear precisely how the slick, flip rhythms of his trademark dialogue would fit in the heightened Pixar universe. Jobs, in case it hasn’t been stated often enough, was no fool. Who knows, perhaps someday Sorkin will see his point. Read the rest of the piece here.