So.. about a month ago I was in my girlfriends car listeneing to Air America on her XM. I miss Air America, it’s my favorite overall radio network. I used to listen religiously when it was on Sirius. And I’m still pissed that the AA folks signed an exclusive deal with XM but that’s another post from another day. The point is that my gf has XM so I get to hear when I’m in her car.
Anyway so I’m listening to my favorite show on AA which is the Randi Rhodes show. If you haven’t heard Randi then you really can’t consider yourself a pissed off liberal. Her show is simply awesome to me. So I get into the car and hear something vaguely familar to me :
Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube. This tube is the gospel, the ultimate revelation; this tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers; this tube is the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people, and that’s why woe is us that Edward George Ruddy died. Because this company is now in the hands of CCA, the Communications Corporation of America; there’s a new chairman of the board, a man called Frank Hackett, sitting in Mr. Ruddy’s office on the twentieth floor. And when the 12th largest company in the world controls the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be peddled for truth on this network?
It wasn’t Randi talking, she was playing a recording. As soon as it was over I had placed it from the movie Network which I had seen probably 10 years or more ago. She said something that made sense in light of what I had just heard. She said “that film is more pertinent today than it was in 1976 when it came out”. I put it on my netflix list. I had to watch it again.
It came a few days ago and I watched it last night. Now as I watched it, I’d realized that I’d seen it like 20 years ago and even then I hardly cared about it. Watching it today I was amazed at the message it had in it. Now the affair and love scenes to me are simply crap now, but the scenes where Howard Beale rants/preaches are simply brilliant commentary of what is happening today in the media world. What was simply conjecture then is now reality. Well, mostly.. I don’t think our networks would allow al-queida to have it’s own 1 hour show every week.
Of particular note is Howards next to last speach at about 1:30 into the film. That monologue (and the one by Ned Beatty imidiately preceding it) is facinating since it is essentially an explination of what I believe our society to be: not about democracy or nations, all about the corporations and the ultimate decider of all things in all nations and across all people : money.
This film is a must watch. It’s certainly entertaining and it is certainly germaine to what we are all clamoring about these days. Go rent it today!