Thursday, November 03, 2005

Network Hellevision

We watched Network in the film class I'm taking tonight. I'd seen the 1976 flick before, but seeing it so soon after watching the excellent but intermittently chilling documentary The Corporation last week made the scene where the UBS President Arthur Jensen inveighs against Howard Beale seem all the more prescient:
You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, Reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels.

It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! ...

You get up on your little 21-inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. ...

We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale.
Thirty years on and things are the same only more so.

You can read the full diatribe and hear Ned Beatty deliver it as Arthur Jensen (mp3). Here's the whole script.

Tangentially, word on the street is, George Clooney plans on doing a live TV remake of Network.

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