Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Wednesday's Post

January 8, 2014

‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore‘

Jan. 8, 2014 —

That sentence of dialogue by British actor Peter Finch in the 1976 movie “Network” is among the most quoted movie lines in various trivia games.

Sadly, he died before he could accept the best actor Oscar the following year for that amazing performance.

Finch was playing television news anchor Howard Beale who, after having been told he was to be fired for low ratings, had threatened to commit suicide in a live newscast in front of millions of TV viewers.

Manipulated by the sinister but lovely Faye Dunaway, also an Oscar winner, Finch instead helped give birth to reality television a full 24 years before it actually happened in 2000 with the first “Survivor” on CBS.

“Network” was a critical success, taking three of the four acting Oscars that year, and was a big moneymaker at the box office. In fact, no other movie has won as many acting Oscars since.

To this day, I’m not sure what inspired the great writer Paddy Chayefsky to dream up what looks and feels so much like today’s media world.

He described what today we call reality TV, YouTube, in-your-face commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and the tabloid news format which sensationalizes the trivial.

Frankly, I suspect that many of today’s angry news types actually borrowed that page out of the “Network” playbook.

Even more amazing is that Chayefsky conjured all of that 20 years before the Internet exploded worldwide.

Finch’s famous rant about banks, crime, air pollution and unemployment is as timely today as it was in 1976.

I often wonder if strategists advising certain politicians didn’t study that movie to learn how to make their clients loud and proud in declaring they’ve had enough of big government, big spending, high taxes, etc.

In desperation, Finch’s character urges his viewers to throw open their windows and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Text Only
Wednesday's Post
  • ‘Who’s gonna fill their shoes’ a key question

    That question was the title of a great country song released in 1985 by the legendary George Jones. That scenario also applies today to the communities we call home and our local organizations that make life better for all of us.

    July 23, 2014

  • When neighbors were really neighbors…

    Lately I’ve been remembering why I’m glad I grew up in a small town where neighbors were really neighbors, not just someone who lived next door or across the road.

    July 16, 2014

  • I don’t have a pet animal but I do have pets

    After a lifetime of listening to friends and co-workers talk incessantly about their pets, I have decided to share some words about mine…my pet peeves.

    July 9, 2014

  • I make no apologies for loving my country

    Friday is the birthday of the United States of America. As an American, I’m incredibly proud of that fact.

    July 2, 2014

  • Can’t everyone grow their own vegetables?

    The sight of home vegetable gardens brings to mind a gardening adventure worth sharing. My friend and I heard someone say at church that growing your own vegetables could save money while providing your family with better, fresher food.

    June 25, 2014

  • ‘Let’s go fly a kite’ is more than a song title

    Are you concerned that too many kids today are preoccupied with handheld electronic devices and don’t know how to play outdoors? I, too, shared those feelings until a recent visit to the seashore with my grandchildren.

    June 18, 2014

  • Old ways, old days sometimes look better

    Dr. Jack Ellis, Morehead’s senior resident historian and a dear friend, sent me a copy of a clipping from the Jan. 24, 1935, issue of the Rowan County News, now called The Morehead News. “Woman fined in county court for gossiping” is the headline.

    June 11, 2014

  • Where do we find such men…and women?

    The tiny American flags fluttered in the breeze of a beautiful day. The hillside cemetery outside Grayson seemed to be covered with them like spring flowers. Again, I was awestruck by the sight of so many red, white and blue symbols of personal courage and patriotism.

    June 4, 2014

  • The ups and downs of a political journey

    In the spirit of this political season, I am recounting the tale of an affable chap who loved politics but found the winner’s circle only once.

    May 28, 2014

  • Boys of summer bring good memories

    May 21, 2014

Poll