Paddy Chayefsky's "Network" is a top Film -
I'M AS MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GONA TAKE IT ANYMORE
Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is an ageing TV Newsreader for UBS Systems who is fired effective in two weeks due to poor ratings and performance. He reacts to this by sensationally announcing on live television his intention to commit suicide on air.
CCA (Owners of UBS Sytems) executive Frank Hackett (Robert Duvall) pulls the plug on Beale and also plans to reorganise the News Division pulling the rug from under Max Schumacher (William Holden) who runs the News Division and reports DIrectly to Edward George Ruddy Chairman of UBS Systems.
Schumacher reluctlantly agrees to give Howard Beale another chance to resign live on air if he promises to stay off the boose and stick to an agreed format. Schumacher however learns of Plans by Hackett to reorganise the news division announced live at the annual stock holders meeting. A furious Schumacher returns to the studio to oversee Beales Resignation.
Beale begins a foul mouthed rant and Schumacher refuses to pull the plug leaving Beale live on air! Schumacher is called to Edward George Ruddey's office and fired. Beale Meanwhile becomes a news sensation and the network refuses to carry UBS output if Beale is kept on the air.
Dianna Christianson (Faye Dunnaway) sees an opportunity to cash in on Beales success and persuades Hackett to let her produce Beales news show. Ruddy decides he needs Schumacher to stay and reinstates him to work with Christianson.
Just as Schumacher plans to pull the plug on Howards news show Howard delivers a Mad Rant in his drenched Pajamas and Raincoat asking Americans to stick their heads out of the windows and yell "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore".
He becomes an overnight sensation, Ruddy has a Heart Attack, Hackett takes over UBS, Schumacher refuses to put Beale back on Air so Hackett Fires him. Hackett appoints Christianson as Beales boss and everyone takes credit for the runaway show which puts UBS top of the ratings.
Beale then becomes the mad Prophit of the Airwaves and has the American people following his commands to dictate policy to their leaders. However Beale turns on his masters at CCA by asking the American people to stop a take over by the Arabs of CCA. Aurther Jenson Chairman of CCA sends for Beale and following a rant of his own reprogramms Howard to sing a tune of his own.
The audiance rejects Howards new views of the world and ratings start to slip, Hackett appeals to Jenson to remove Beale but Jenson insists Howard stays on air at all costs. Hackett & Christianson along with Executives at UBS and CCA decide to restore the ratings by getting a militant group to assinate Howard Live on one of his own shows!
Howard Beale becomes the first man to die because of lousy ratings!
Here are some of Howards Best Rants in order of Appearnace on the shows:
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like at this moment to announce that I will be retiring from this program in two weeks' time because of poor ratings
Since this show was the only thing I had going for me in my life, I have decided to kill myself
I'm going to blow my brains out right on this program a week from today so tune in next Tuesday. That'll give the public relations people a week to promote the show, and we ought to get a hell of a rating with that, a fifty share easy
Today is Wednesday, September the 24th, and this is my last broadcast.
Yesterday I announced on this program that I was going to commit public suicide, admittedly an act of madness.
Well, I'll tell you what happened: I just ran out of bullshit.
Am I still on the air?
I really don't know any other way to say it other than I just ran out of bullshit.
Bullshit is all the reasons we give for living.
And if we can't think up any reasons of our own, we always have the God bullshit.
We don't know why we're going through all this pointless pain, humiliation, decays, so there better be someone somewhere who does know.
That's the God bullshit.
And then, there's the noble man bullshit;
that man is a noble creature that can order his own world; who needs God?
Well, if there's anybody out there that can look around this demented slaughterhouse of a world we live in and tell me that man is a noble creature, believe me:
That man is full of bullshit.
I don't have anything going for me. I haven't got any kids. And I was married for forty-three years of shrill, shrieking fraud.
So I don't have any bullshit left. I just ran out of it, you see.
II don't have to tell you things are bad.
Everybody knows things are bad.
It's a depression.
Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job.
The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter.
Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it.
We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat.
We sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be.
We know things are bad - worse than bad.
It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore.
We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything.
Just leave us alone.
Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone.
I want you to get mad!
I don't want you to protest.
I don't want you to riot
I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write.
I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street.
All I know is that first you've got to get mad.
You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!'
So I want you to get up now.
I want all of you to get up out of your chairs.
I want you to get up right now and go to the window.
Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,
'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'
I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell
'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!'
Things have got to change.
But first, you've gotta get mad!.
You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!'
Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis.
But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:
I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
Last night, I was awakened from a fitful sleep at shortly after two o'clock in the morning by a shrill, sibilant, faceless voice that was sitting in my rocking chair.
I couldn't make it out at first in the dark bedroom.
I said: "I'm sorry, you'll have to talk a little louder." And the Voice said to me: "I want you to tell the people the truth, not an easy thing to do; because the people don't want to know the truth."
I said: "You're kidding. How the hell would I know what the truth is?"
"But the Voice said to me: "Don't worry about the truth. I'll put the words in your mouth."
And I said: "What is this, the burning bush?
For God's sake, I'm not Moses." And the Voice said to me: "And I'm not God, what's that got to do with it --"
And the Voice said to me: "We're not talking about eternal truth or absolute truth or ultimate truth! We're talking about impermanent, transient, human truth!
I don't expect you people to be capable of truth! But, goddamit, you're at least capable of self-preservation! That's good enough! I want you to go out and tell the people to preserve themselves -- "
And I said to the Voice: "Why me?"
And the Voice said: "Because you're on television, dummy! -- "
"You have forty million Americans listening to you; after tonight's show, you could have fifty million.
For Pete's sake, I don't expect you to walk the land in sackcloth and ashes preaching the Armageddon. You're on Teevee, man! –
So I thought about it for a moment --
And then I said: "Okay -- "
Edward George Ruddy died today!
Edward George Ruddy was the Chairman of the Board of the Union Broadcasting Systems -- and woe is us if it ever falls in the hands of the wrong people. And that's why woe is us that Edward George Ruddy died.
Because this network is now in the hands of CC and A the Communications Corporation of America.
We've got a new Chairman of the Board, a man named Frank Hackett now sitting in Mr. Ruddy's office on the twentieth floor. And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome
goddamned propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what
shit will be peddled for truth on this tube? So, listen to me!
Television is not the truth! Television is a goddamned amusement
park, that's what television is! Television is a circus, a carnival,
a travelling troupe of acrobats and story-tellers, singers and dancers,jugglers, side-show freaks, liontamers and football players. We're in the boredom-killing business! If you want truth, go to God, go to your guru, go to yourself because that's the only place you'll ever find any real truth! But, man, you're never going to get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you want to hear. We lie like hell! We'll tell you Kojack always gets the killer, and nobody ever gets cancer in Archie Bunker's house.
And no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don't worry: just look at your watch -- at the end of the hour, he's going to win. We'll tell you any shit you want to hear!
We deal in illusion, man! None of it's true! But you people sit there -- all of you -- day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds -- we're all you know. You're beginning to believe this illusion we're spinning here. You're be- ginning to think the tube is reality and your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you think like the tube. This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing! We're the illusions! So turn off this goddam set! Turn it off right now! Turn it off and leave it off. Turn it off right now, right in the middle of this very sentence I'm speaking now --
All right, listen to me! Listen carefully! This is your goddam life
I'm talking about today! In this country, when one company takes over another company, they simply buy up a controlling share of the stock. But first they have to file notice with the government. That's how C.C. and A. -- the Communications Corporation of America -- bought up the company that owns this network.
And now somebody's buying up C.C. and A! Some company named Western
World Funding Corporation is buying up C.C. and A! They filed their
notice this morning! Well, just who the hell is Western World Funding Corporation? It's a consortium of banks and insurance companies who are not buying C.C. and A. for themselves but as agents for somebody else!
Well, who's this somebody else? They won't tell you! They won't
tell you, they won't tell the Senate, they won't tell the SEC,
the FCC, the Justice Department, they won't tell anybody! They say
it's none of our business! The hell it ain't! --
Well, I'll tell you who they're buying C.C. and A. for. They're
buying it for the Saudi-Arabian Investment Corporation! They're
buying it for the Arabs!
We know the Arabs control more than sixteen billion dollars in this
country! They own a chunk of Fifth Avenue, twenty downtown pieces of
Boston, a part of the port of New Orleans, an industrial park in Salt
Lake city. They own big hunks of the Atlanta Hilton, the Arizona Land and cattle Company, the Security National Bank in California, the Bank of the Commonwealth in Detroit!
They control ARAMCO, so that puts them into Exxon, Texaco and Mobil
oil! They're all over - New Jersey,Louisville, St.Louis, Missouri! And that's only what we know about!There's a hell of a lot more we
don't know about because all those Arab petro-dollars are washed
through Switzerland and Canada and the biggest banks in this country!
For example, what we don't know about is this C.C.A. deal and all the
other C.C.A. deals!
Right now, the Arabs have screwed us out of enough American dollars to come back and, with our own money,buy General Motors, IBM, ITT, A T and T, Dupont, U.S. Steel, and twenty other top American companies.
Hell, they already own half of England.
Now, listen to me, goddammit! The Arabs are simply buying us! They're buying all our land, our whole economy, the press, the factories,financial institutions, the government! They're going to own us! A handful of agas, shahs and emirs who despise this country and everything it stands for --democracy, freedom, the right for me
to get up on television and tell you about it -- a couple of dozen
medieval fanatics are going to own where you work, where you live, what you read, what you see, your cars,your bowling alleys, your mortgages,your schools, your churches, your libraries, your kids, your whole life! --
-- And there's not a single law on the books to stop them! There's
only one thing that can stop them --you! So I want you to get up now.I want you to get out of your chairs and go to the phone. Right now. I want you to go to your phone or get in your car and drive into the Western Union office in town. I want everybody listening to me to get up right now and send a telegram to the White House --
By midnight tonight I want a million telegrams in the White House! I
want them wading knee-deep in telegrams at the White House! Get
up! Right now! And send President Ford a telegram saying: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more! I don't want the banks selling my country to the Arabs! I want this C.C. and A. deal stopped now! --
I want this C.C. and A. deal stopped now! I want this C.C. and A. deal stopped now!
I started as a salesman, Mr. Beale. I sold sewing machines and automobile parts, hair brushes and electronic equipment. They say I can sell anything. I'd like to try and sell something to you --
Valhalla, Mr. Beale, please sit down --
You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I
won't have it, is that clear?! You think you have 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! 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, rubles, rin, pounds and shekels! It is the international system of currency that determines the totality of life on this planet!
That is the natural order of things today! That is the atomic,
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 A T and 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 pull out their linear programming charts, statistical
decision theories and 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 deter- mined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children, Mr. Beale, will live to see that perfect world in which there is no war and famine, oppression and 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 to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale.
Because you're on television, dummy.
Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
I have seen the face of God!
You just might be right, Mr. Beale.
Last night, I got up here and asked you people to stand up and fight for your heritage, and you did and it was beautiful. Six million
telegrams were received at the White House. The Arab takeover of C.C.and A. has been stopped. The people spoke, the people won. It was a radiant eruption of democracy. But I think that was it, fellers. That sort of thing isn't likely to happen again. Because, in the bottom of all our terrified souls, we all know that democracy is a dying giant, a sick, sick dying, decaying political concept, writhing in its final pain.
I don't mean the United States is finished as a world power. The
United States is the most powerful,the richest, the most advanced
country in the world, light-years ahead of any other country. And I
don't mean the Communists are going to take over the world. The
Communists are deader than we are.
What's finished is the idea that this great country is dedicated to
the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It's the
individual that's finished. It's the single, solitary human being
who's finished. It's every single one of you out there who's finished.
Because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. This is a nation of two hundred odd million transistorized, deodorized,
whiter- than-white, steel-belted bodies, totally unnecessary as human
beings and as replaceable as piston rods --
Well, the time has come to say:is dehumanization such a bad word?
Because good or bad, that's what's so. The whole world is becoming
humanoid, creatures that look human but aren't. The whole world, not
just us. We're just the most advanced country, so we're getting
there first ---- The whole world's people are becoming mass-produced, programmed,wired, insensate things useful only to produce and consume other mass-produced things, all of them as unnecessary and useless as we are ---- that's the simple truth you have to grasp, that human existence is an utterly futile and purposeless thing -- -- because once you've grasped that,then the whole universe becomes orderly and comprehensible ---- We are right now living in what has to be called a corporate society, a corporate world, a corporate universe. This world quite simply is a vast cosmology of small corporations orbiting around larger corporations who, in turn,revolve around giant corporations ---- and this whole, endless, ultimate cosmology is expressly designed for the production and consumption of
useless things --