Friday, April 10, 2009


When I was around 17, I went to a movie with a buddy. The movie was NETWORK, and it remains one of my all time favorites...if not my absolute favorite. (This top spot always waffles between DR. STRANGELOVE, 2001, & MY FAVORITE YEAR.)

As I sat in that darkened theater as a bright-eyed youth, I became creeped out as NETWORK unspooled before me. It wasn't the movie I thought it was going to be. It was worse...and better. It made me super uncomfortable. A movie had never done that to me. NETWORK was a horror movie. I saw most of the people in it as monsters. Unreal monsters.

Now in middle age, I have met and worked with most of the archetypes. They are quite real, I assure you. And if I haven't most of my friends have. 

NETWORK tells the tale of television gone awry. More to the point, it tells the tale of popular culture gone awry. As a teenager I took comfort in my perception that it was pure fantasy. 

I am now convinced that screenwriter, Paddy Chayefsky, was a prophet. Not only have we arrived at his television nightmare, we have surpassed it. 

In the story, a stodgy network news program is turned into pop culture entertainment. I remember thinking that would never happen. Boy, was I wrong.

Paddy Chayefsky imagined a world in which most of the television shows were reality based. Boy, was he right. 

Chayefsky portrayed a world in which popular culture had become nothing more than collective, creepy voyeurism.

He wrote about a world filled with TV Psychologists, Psychics, Advice Experts and Geeks. I'm telling ya, the man knew.

If you haven't seen NETWORK in a while...or have never seen it at all...get it. Watch it. 

Maybe it's time to be mad as hell...and not take it anymore.

The family and I will be driving up the coast of California for the next 8 days. I shall return with the special 9PM (pdt)  blog on Sunday, April 19th so ya'll can provide your Youtube links for the big contest.

Peace and Happy Easter


  1. Have fun on the trip -- especially when you hit my home town of Santa Cruz. Woot!

  2. Why are you going to the coast of California on Easter weekend? Do you know something about the Easter bunny's migration patterns that we don't? Details! Details!

    That movie sounds horrid.
    I shall have to find it.