Thursday, August 14, 2008


The World is a Business...

We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
- Professor Keating (Robin Williams) in 'Dead Poet's Society'

I 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 work, 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, and 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. They're crazy. 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.
- Howard Beale (Peter Finch) in 'Network'

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!
- Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty) in 'Network'

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.
-Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty) in 'Network'

Human life is what matters; the living of it, the sanctity of it, the continuing of it, the beauty of it, the sorrow of it, the joy of it. More and more today, perhaps the world is becoming a business. The quotes from the movie 'Network', a movie released in 1976 that was ahead of its time and eerily prophetic of our own, offer us a kind of perspective on the pattern of control in our world today. Indeed, if we forget the value of human life in favor of the 'illusion' then we are as lifeless as the institutions.

We cannot surrender to mindless despotism in any form. We must transcend this kind of thinking. We must think for ourselves.

1 comment:

2 BOWL CAIN said...

We have to find room in our contemporary world view for persons,
with all that that it entails; not just bodies, but persons.
And that means trying to solve the problem of freedom,
finding room for choice and responsibility...
and trying to understand individuality.
You can't fight city hall, death and taxes.
Don't talk about politics or religion.
This is all the equivalent of enemy propaganda rolling across the picket line.
" Lay down, G.I. Lay down, G.I."
We saw it all through the th Century.
And now in the st Century, it's time to stand up and realize...
that we should not allow ourselves to be crammed into this rat maze.
We should not submit to dehumanization.
I don't know about you, but I'm concerned with what's happening in this world.
I'm concerned with the structure.
I'm concerned with the systems of control,
those that control my life and those that seek to control it even more!
I want freedom! That's what I want!
And that's what you should want!
It's up to each and every one of us to turn loose and just shovel the greed,
the hatred, the envy and, yes, the insecurities...
because that is the central mode of control-- make us feel pathetic, small...
so we'll willingly give up our sovereignty, our liberty, our destiny.
We have got to realize that we're being conditioned on a mass scale.
Start challenging this corporate slave state!
The st Century is gonna be a new century,
not the century of slavery, not the century of lies and issues of no significance...
and classism and statism and all the rest of the modes of control!
It's gonna be the age of humankind...
standing up for something pure and something right!
What a bunch of garbage-- liberal Democrat, conservative Republican.
It's all there to control you. Two sides of the same coin.
Two management teams bidding for control!
The C.E.O. job of Slavery, Incorporated!
The truth is out there in front of you, but they lay out this buffet of lies!
I'm sick of it, and I'm not gonna take a bite out of it! Do you got me?
Resistance is not futile. We're gonna win this thing.
Humankind is too good! We're not a bunch of underachievers!
We're gonna stand up and we're gonna be human beings!
We're gonna get fired up about the real things, the things that matter:
creativity and the dynamic human spirit that refuses to submit!
Well, that's it! That's all I got to say! It's in your court.

waking life

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