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John Wayne's Holster: I'm Mad As Hell and I'm Not Gonna Take It Anymore
John Wayne's Holster
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Saturday, February 07, 2009

I'm Mad As Hell and I'm Not Gonna Take It Anymore

“Harold Beale” from Network (1976)

I think anyone growing up in the US in the 60’s and 70’s will recall the personality that was Dr. Timothy Leary. Leary’s famous quote, which more or less summed up his philosophy, was “turn on, tune in, and drop out”. Ostensibly, the phrase was to promote experimentation with LSD. Actually, it was aimed at encouraging people to detach themselves from the conventions of society. Many self-annointed “responsible” people dismissed Leary’s advice as the ravings of a madman. However, what these “responsible people” don’t realize is that they have plugged-in to something that is much more insidious – the corporate/government media, otherwise known as the public relations industry. Perhaps they would have been better off taking the ticket to ride.

As Noam Chomsky states in Propaganda and Control of the Public Mind, the goal of the public relations industry is “the conscious control and manipulation of the habits and opinions of the masses”, the intended purpose of which is “to maintain power structures and authority structures”. In other words, we are being brainwashed into accepting the version of reality that the ruling corporate class imposes on us. They do this so that they can continue to exploit our labor and extract our wealth. And I must say, they are quite good at it – so good, that they have us believing that it is the way things are naturally supposed to be.

Over the weekend, I rented a DVD from my local video store that satirized this quite nicely. The movie is called Network. Here is an edited summary of the movie from IMDb:

In 1975 terrorist violence is the stuff of network nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS television network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way… In doing so, [he] becomes a major TV icon and one of the most valuable assets to the Communications Corporation of America (CCA), the company that is gradually taking control of UBS. As a result he is given his own show as 'the mad prophet of the air-waves'. He appears live on television every week-day evening to tell the real truth to the people of America. The programme is a huge success but Beale uses his power to make startling revelations about CCA, leaving the company executives with a serious problem.

Here are a few scenes from the movie:

Harold Beale is Mad as Hell.

TV is an Illusion.

Inevitably, Beale reveals too much about the way things work, and needs to be brough in line. This is attempted by the UBS execs.

Beale Sees the Face of God - Corporations run the world.

Eventually, Beale is assassinated...

I found the movie to be both eye-opening and disturbing, not because it revealed to me anything I was not generally aware of, but rather, because the events the movie satirizes are playing out all over again in the present time. The corporate media is controlling us with a campaign of fear and disinformation. In doing so, they have paralyzed us as citizens. They trample our rights, violate our humanity, and extract our wealth. Although we may bitch and moan, we nevertheless roll-over and allow them to have their way with us. We content ourselves with the false notion that we are free, when in reality, we are not. Deep down, we know this to be true, but rarely give more that a passing thought to it. To assure that we don’t do so, the ruling class placates and appeases us with the modern equivalent of bread and circuses – endless entertainment, fantasy, drugs & alcohol, sexual license, etc. I could go on, but I think one just needs to look around to see that this is true.

I think it is time we were all "MAD AS HELL


At 9:20 PM, Anonymous drjim said...

One of my favorite movies. It's just as chilling now as it was then.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good you see your as jovial as always,
your bro

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Our Man in Abiko said...

Don't worry, there's no media left for the corporations to ruin. Love the post, thanks for the Network clips (I was looking for something to illustrate a post about similar sentiments in Japan)

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Our Man in Abiko said...

Me again. By the way, you'd love Abiko, it's home to the national bird museum (can't spell ornatholiogical this far into the night. Carry on.


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