“The Network” – A Postscript

August 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I want to add a couple of items and subtract, or at least qualify,  another one to and from my recommendation of  “The Network”.

First, the subtraction:  I wrote with approval Paddy Chayefsky’s screen-play speech describing “. . . how the overpowering influence of corporations leaches all vestiges of empathy, passion and decency from the creative efforts of human beings.”  Upon reflection, I think that was too broad.  I have occasionally become so angry about the destructive results of our corporate-dominated political and economic culture that I fantasized about abolishing corporate business structures entirely.

One of my problems is that I feel bound to ask myself,  “What would be the effect of what you propose?”  In this case, the answer is that creative innovators would not be able to test their ideas in the market-place without risking economic annihilation.    It would be like changing the rules of poker to require every bet to be “all in”.  That would discourage creativity, the very value I accuse corporations of threatening.

No, we should not abolish the corporation as a business alternative.  That would be like killing all dogs because of pit bulls.  We can enjoy puppies, but muzzle pit bulls.

So, I still admire Paddy’s writing.  It is admirable in the context in which he wrote:  The conflict between television as a stage for creativity and honesty, threatened by corporate greed and single-minded focus on ratings and ad revenue.  I should have qualified my rhetoric.

Now the additions:  I know that some of you have no time to spend finding an old movie and, hence, may have had no way of knowing what I was talking about.  In that case, I offer a couple of hyperlinks.   Money Speech

Finally , for some fun,  see George Carlin’s take on this subject.  After I posted this item I took time to learn how to embed clickable links in my post.  So, in the future, you won’t have to jump through so many hoops to see the links to which I refer.  (I only had to do it wrong three times before I finally “got it”.)

Talk about “inconvenient truth”!  When Carlin performed this diatribe, he couldn’t have imagined how accurate he was.

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