Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Continuing our series on "TRUTH", another look at the classic film, "NETWORK" is advised!!!

A week ago, I wrote about a song sung by Johnny Cash in which the line, "The truth remains, that no one wants to know!" jumped out at me. Big time! Because sadly, that's the way most of us are.

No one wants to believe that the "good guys", our so-called "leaders" would ever deceive us and there are highly paid professional charlatans who are hired and stay hired for one reason and one reason only. To be the soothing voice that preaches the gospel of "goodness" our so-called "leaders" stand for. Yes, I'm referring to you, Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Hannity and others of your bought and paid for ilk.

Which brings me to the 1976, 10-Oscars nominated film, "Network".

It won 4 Oscars! Actors Faye Dunaway, Beatrice Straight, Peter Finch and Writer (and prophet) Paddy Chayefsky.

I watched this film late last night. It was the first time I had seen it since it was released more than 30 years ago. Which means the script might have been written close to (if not more than) 40 years ago!

Peter Finch played "Howard Beale" who was described in "Network" as "the mad prophet of the airwaves".

But while "Howard Beale" was a fictional prophet, Paddy Chayefsky was a real prophet!

I mean, the stuff Paddy Chayefsky wrote about was stuff that hadn't happened, but when we look around now, we see that what Chayefsky wrote about is consuming us! Like the Saudi influence, both politically and financially....Consolidation involving radio and television stations along with other businesses that have led to catastrophic financial results for broadcasters, salespeople and other workers, most of which has never been publicly reported because of "pride". The people who have been whacked in the shorts as severely as they have been whacked, simply refuse to talk about it and don't want to make waves because they need the jobs, no matter how many paycuts they have to endure. Why? Because they've seen what happens to people who protest. They get "blackballed". Or worse.

But the bought and paid for charlatans on the air continue to preach the gospel about the economy being fine and citing how we can't be in a recession because of some "cycle" nonsense.

Open your eyes, folks. It's still preventable (I think), but we're dangerously close to a DE-presssion, not a RE-cession.

If and when you take the time to watch "Network", here's what you need to look for. See how the character "Howard Beale" manipulates his viewers/listeners and then near the end of the film, see how the Rupert Murdoch character who's named "Arthur Jensen" and is played by Oscar nominated (for "Network") Ned Beatty does his own manipulating! Of (none other than), "Howard Beale"!!!

When "Network" was released, I don't think anyone knew who Rupert Murdoch was, but that's who this "Arthur Jensen" character reminds me of which goes again to what kind of "prophet", Paddy Chayefsky really was!

Okay...What I'm about to indulge in now could fairly be described as some kind of "pop psychology", but for openers I will tell you that I am not a psychologist.

Here's what I think Paddy Chayefsky understood and he portrayed it magnificently in his Oscar winning screenplay.

I believe that he understood for a character like Howard Beale to be effective on a national level, he had to be perceived by the masses as being "one of them". But after that "acceptance", the masses didn't realize they were being "manipulated" by their new "prophet" and besides, it was fun to open up your window and yell out, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"

But while accepting this new "prophet" as being "one of them", and allowing themselves to be "manipulated", something had slipped through the cracks. The "prophet" figured out (either consciously or subconsciously) that being "one of them" meant a gathering of weak (possibly dumb) and easily manipulated minds who wanted nothing more than to have a reason to feel good about themselves. And that's when the Rupert Murdoch (Arthur Jensen) character stepped in. With a new agenda for "Howard Beale" to be articulated that would benefit only the strong and powerful.

The weak (Howard Beale) did the first manipulating, the strong (Arthur Jensen) did the final manipulating.

And that my friends is (briefly) how people like Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Hannity and their ilk came to be.

Their argument would be, "Hey, we're only a radio show!"

My answer would be (and is), "Uh, huh. And Network is only a movie!"

If you're a truth seeker like I am, check it out, folks. Like Johnny Cash's song, you'll hear some "truth" when you watch "Network". Some scary truth!

THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS? Write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net. I write back to everyone.

OTHER STUFF...

John Edwards...

Buh-BYE!!!!

A NEW FILM TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR...

"I.O.U.S.A." is a documentary that will open on August 21. It's an 87-minute film that was produced by David M. Walker, former head of the Government Accountability Office, Peter G. Peterson, co-founder of Blackstone Group, a major private equity outfit and super-investor Warren E. Buffett.

What these rich (especially Buffett) individuals will tell you in this film is some truth you might not want to know. It's about how bad our economy really is in the minds of these very successful individuals. An economy in their view that is in danger of making the "Great Depression" look like child's play, if you will.

You ain't gonna hear this stuff from the bought and paid for people, folks!

WOULD OBAMA WIN HELP WHITE SUPREMACISTS?

The above headline is a headline I saw above a recent story in the L.A. Times.

I show you the headline simply to give you something to think about and to ask yourself about.

For the record? Until I hear something more impressive than I've been hearing lately from either of our two presidential candidates, right now I'm now sure I'd want either one of them managing a 7/11.

THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS? Write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net. I write back to everyone.

THE NEXT BLOG? Unless something unexpected comes up, a week from today. As a rule, a new blog is posted every Wednesday afternoon (late) or (early) Wednesday evening.

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