Choosing Social Media in Trainspotting 2

Look, I don’t like to impugn the work of other culture writers. It can be a grind, and the demand for topical content relentless. But I took umbrage at this piece over at Vulture, because it seems determined to misread the scene from the Trainspotting sequel it discusses to place it in part of an uncool trend where movies dareth speak ill of social media. Movies are often pretty unhip and out of touch with what’s going on with internet culture, but on the other hand, people who make their living on the internet are often understandably but sometimes insanely defensive about any perceived slights to the medium that puts food on their table. Anyway, my instinct reading this piece was to go through it with a red pen like a crazy person, and bless the internets, this is something I can do now! So here is my annotated version of this article I kinda hated. Consider this a preview for our upcoming podcast about T2: Trainspotting and the films of Danny Boyle. Click for bigger versions.


Jesse is a cofounder of even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
  • Marisa

    That T2 monologue is simultaneously:
    -Saying what Renton believes about living in 2017
    -Criticizing what Renton believes about living in 2017, as seen in the reactions from everybody in the restaurant (and Veronika, whose reaction I judged as more “um, okay,” than “please jump in bed with me,” and I say that as someone who is totally sympathetic with the urge to jump into bed with Ewan McGregor).
    -A nod to the 1996 version of the monologue for fans of the original.
    -A way of taking the piss out of people who were too into that monologue back in the ’90s, because it does NOT land.
    -Another marker of age, as Veronika doesn’t know what “Choose Life” is to begin with.

    That article takes only the most surface use of the monologue and still doesn’t really characterize it right.

    • jesse

      That’s another great point. That scene in the movie does a lot of things; this calling out of it does very little.

  • Bennett Morrison

    Those post makes me think a few things:

    – Maybe install a genius-like plug-in for the blog. (Of course, then you would have to republish the offending piece, and that might get some copyright issues)
    – The piece cuts the 2017 monologue in half. No mention of the two-hour commute or the kitchen-made drugs
    – I’m surprised the article tag “being a jerk” has not been used more often.

    • jesse

      Yeah, I wasn’t sure how to handle annotating someone else’s writing. Rob gave me a suggestion but by that point I’d just gone ahead and screencapped my Word file, which is admittedly low-tech.

      I completely forgot that the 2017 monologue is longer than it is when reprinted here, but you’re totally right! Especially weird because the monologue is also in the trailer for the movie — and while it may be shortened in that version, too, it definitely includes the kitchen-made drugs line.

      And yes, I’m as surprised as you are that it took us three years to get a “being a jerk” tag.