Friday, January 22, 2010

After three-plus decades, Paddy Chayefsky circa NETWORK is still a prophet.

Not sure how many people remember Ned Beatty's corporate titan "educating" Peter Finch's nonconformist newscaster ("I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!") near the climax of 1976's NETWORK.

But the Beatty speech begins like this: "There is no America.
There is only IBM, AT&T......"

Thanks to the Supreme Court's decision to make the corporate-contributed domination of political parties overt rather than covert, we're pretty close to Paddy Chayefsky's bleak vision
of the future.

Some people may moan about unlimited campaign contributions from labor unions. But the corporate culture in the U.S. is so successful at demonizing unions (and giving them rope-a-dope treatment when unions dare to go out on strike), that the labor movement is likely to have a few more teeth knocked out in this just-begun decade.

Add the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts, Nancy Pelosi's gutlessness re health care (still hard to understand the conservative fury at her and the equally hacky, I-like-my-perks-and-hate-to-fight, Harry Reid--as if they were threatening to anyone), the Tea Party madness and President Obama's likeliness to opt for a heaping helping of pandering-to-GOP (or as the mainstream media defines it, "moving to the center"), and it might be safe to predict that America will be to China what the former Yugoslavia was to the old USSR.

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