Howard has a problem, his company that he has worked for all his life, has been purchased by the CCA, a multi-megabucks corporation, called the Communications Corporation of America. Because Howards’ network is posting a loss each quarter, CCA has determined that he is no longer useful or productive. That he has no worth, and they are forcing him to retire much earlier than he wants to. In other words, the corporation is putting Howard out to pasture.
Any of this sound familiar?
Howard gets so disgusted with his job and life in general; he threatens to blow his brains out on the national news broadcast one night. Just matter of factually states this during a routine news show, catching everyone by surprise, says that “I am going to blow my brains out on this show next Tuesday.”
What I am talking about is the movie, Network, the movie. It is an old movie, been out for quite sometime now. You can find it in just about any video shop or order it on line. It stars Faye Dunway, the late Bill Holden and Robert Duvall, as the head honcho of the CCA group.
The movie has it all, power plays in the board room, heads fly, and budgets are slashed to the bone in the name of profit, cut throat power plays within the ranks as people jostle and position for control. Pretty good flick, be forewarned there is some nudity, profanity also, so you might want to put the “food thieves to bed early” before you watch it.
Getting back to Howard.
Howard like I said, “has a problem.” He has goals, an identity, worth as a human being, and feels as if he is still productive. Howard resents being pushed out of the CCA Mega Corporation very much. Howard states, “I want to tell people the truth. But the people don’t want to hear the truth.” So each time Howard gets on the air he rambles on and on, about things like value, worth, self preservation. He speaks of a vision, or how bad his job has gotten, how thing in life are changing, makes a valiant plea with the general theme of “I am a man worth saving.”
But alas, everyone thinks Howard is slowly but surely, going crazy and they want to take him off the air. CCA the Mega Corporations states: “We have to get rid of Howard, we need to get him off the air.”
Finally, the appointed Tuesday arrives.
Howard Beale builds to the peak of all these days of rambling and he says, “I want you (the viewing audience at home) to get mad. I want you to open that window, and stick your head outside and yell … “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take this any more!” Then he again goes off on his own personal tangent and repeats the phrase, “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore!”
Then a funny thing happens.
All across the country, people rush to their windows, not just where Howard happens to be, but across the width and breadth of America. People get up out of their chairs and they walk over to the window and they yell “I am mad as hell, and I am not taking this anymore! … I am mad as hell, and I am not taking this anymore!”
The rest of the movie is just as good and entertaining. We all understand that this is just fiction and that it never really happened. This is not the real world, but a lot of it is similar to our everyday lives. We all work for a Mega Corporation believe it or not. The name of this Mega Big Buck Corporation is:
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Like it or not, we are being put out to pasture sort of speaking, our opinions, our needs, our goals, are no longer relevant in this modern world we live in. Although we have self worth, we have value, time honored traditions, we are not being attended to nor being heard on most issues. Our core values are steadily being eroded and washed away by a legion of incompetent fools in Washington DC. Elected to do a job, they fritter away each day and chip away at the very essence of American Life.
Just this week, in a much bally-hoo’ed team work session they threw the 4th Amendment of the Constitution out the window, by voting to give the government of the United States even more power to spy on you, your lifestyle and your home. One more step in the Patriot Act pathway to oblivion.
We have seen our budgets slashed in the name of Democracy, wholesale plundering of the economy in the name of corporate profit, entire states and communities turned literally upside down in the name of political correctness, restructuring of the whole country and our national defenses.
All of it built on a platform of broken promises and outright lies.
Perhaps it is time to walk to the window, or pick up a telephone, make a call and tell them that “We are mad as hell, and we are not taking this anymore.” Instead of just sitting idly by, and doing nothing. If none of this has inspired you at this time, then walk over here and see what Lee Iacocca has to say about it.
We are fresh out of heroes in this country and we need to find someone that can fit the bill.