Los Angeles, CA
The infamous "Mad As Hell" rant in the film Network is one of the greatest moments in cinematic history. And 35 years later, the overall message in the rant still hold up especially considering the current status of the world.
God bless Paddy Chayefsky for penning the sensational script. For some of you not familiar with screenwriters or for you non-film buffs out there, Paddy Chayefsky was the Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan of Hollywood screenwriters. He's the best there was, best there is, best there ever shall be. Paddy's screenplay (which won an Oscar) from Network was a subversive indictment on the absurdity of television (opiate of the masses) along with the decay of democracy, and to take it even further... the decay of America.
The "Mad As Hell" diatribe from jaded/suicidal/depressed news anchor Howard Beale (played by Finch) drew all the acclaim and accolades, but it was only the second best scene in Network. What's better that that? The chilling "Corporate Cosmology" monologue (often called the "Money" speech) delivered by Ned Beatty, which is absolutely mind blowing. I watched it a few minutes ago and then watched it again on You Tube. It sent chills down my spine because even though he's talking about America and the world in 1975, he could be talking to us today.
The first clip is "Mad as Hell" by Peter Finch (who actually died after the film completed production. He got nominated for an Oscar...and won. At the time, he was the only Oscar winner to have won an Academy Award posthumously, until Heath Ledger).
And the second clip is the haunting "Corporate Cosmology" lecture from the Jensen (the CEO of the company that owns network) as played by Ned Beatty. It's so fucking powerful and dangerous that for whatever reason, the powers to be will NOT allow it to be embedded onto websites...so you have to click here to watch it on YouTube.
But luckily I found the speech, which I'll share with you below...
Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it!! Is that clear?! You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance!Don't forget, click here to watch the Money/Corporate Cosmology speech on YouTube.
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, multivariate, multinational 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! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE!
Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?
You get up on your little twenty-one 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.
What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state -- Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do.
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. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.
And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Beale: But why me?
Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
When you get a chance, watch all of Network. You'll thank me later.