One of the most iconic scenes in American film history is in Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 black comedy, “Network.” Peter Finch stars as Howard Beale, a network news anchor who’s about to be canned because of declining ratings. Beale starts to unravel while he’s on the air. He becomes visibly unhinged, screaming at his viewing audience, urging them to do what he’s doing – to shout at the top of their lungs, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
The line came to mind while reading today’s New York Times, which testified yet again not only to how furious people are, but to how hellbent they are on fighting people in positions of authority.
• South Koreans, fed up with their president, Park Geun-hye, have taken to the streets in the hundreds of thousands to protest her refusal to respond to charges of corruption and influence peddling. South Korea’s worst political crisis in decades shows no signs of abating. Ms. Park remains defiant. The people remain defiant as well – demanding that she either resign or be impeached.
• The mayors of several of America’s largest cities have vowed to fight any order to deport illegal immigrants, even if instructed by the federal government to do so. Los Angeles’s Eric Garcetti, Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, and New York’s Bill de Blasio, among others, have all pledged to fight the feds on this, even if it means losing millions of dollars in federal assistance.
• After decades of staying silent, at least six former English soccer players have come forward with accusations of sexual abuse by coaches affiliated with England’s Football Association. More than twenty other players have similarly stepped up, though anonymously. After a couple of weeks of doing nothing the Football Association concluded it had no choice but to announce it would investigate the claims. It appointed a lawyer experienced in such matters to pursue the case.
Who knew Howard Beale was forty years ahead of his time?!