Take a Beale pill and call me in the morning
I’d like to start this “Howard Beale” (Network~1976) moment with a confession…I am absolutely and totally addicted to mainstream media. Don’t judge me yet…recent research suggests that we as a species spend as much as 200 of our 480 waking hours each month “connected” in some way. AND…as a student of Media Ecology (I have a degree that says I know more about this than the generals…believe me)…I can confidently say that YOU ARE TOO!.
Given that just six enormous media conglomerates (Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, News Corp., CBS Corp., Comcast) combine to produce about 90 percent of all media it might be a good idea to pop a metaphoric “Beale Pill” and take a quick stroll through “Wonderland” and see “how deep the rabbit hole goes” (The Matrix-1999).
My “Morpheus” was Dr. Neil Postman (a disciple of Marshal “The Medium is The Message” McLuhan) whose best known book “Amusing Ourselves to Death” (1985) posits, in part, that television undermines political discourse by reducing complex issues to superficial images and viewers are “amused to death” as entertainment replaces thoughts and ideas. It therefore stands to reason that our faculties for rational thought, although weakened by a life of TV (Thought Vanquisher) viewing, can be strengthened by participating in honest, intellectual dialog and rational argument…so, let’s start a metaphorical one!
There are only two rules; 1) before concuring with or rebutting anything read here, you must view at least two of the movies within parentheses (brackets) and 2) HAVE FUN!!!
I would argue that, while we have already entered “The Age of Stupid” (2009) it’s not too late to stave off the Apocolyspe. By “Chance” I dreamed I was in the “Idiocracy” (2006) and actually enjoyed “Being There” (1979) unti some spin doctor thought it was a good idea to “Wag The Dog” (1997). Before leaving, I asked: “what’s that “Bulworth” (1998)? “Nothing…to a ‘Soul Man’ (1986) like you”, he quipped. I didn’t realize he was “Man of the Year” (2006) until noticing he was dressed in “Primary Colors” (1998).
So what’s the point? America’s Presidential Elections have always been “spectacles” and since the first televised Presidential debate (Nixon/Kennedy) in 1960, it seems that style trumps substance. The first Presidential debate of 2016 suggests our nominees this “silly season are “Resident Evil” (2002) and “Forrest Gump” (1994). As Forrest’s mom often said: "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”
On that note, I think I’ll open up a box of chocolates, throw in my “Brewster’s Millions” (1985) DVD and fantasize about “WE THE PEOPLE” voting “NONE OF THE ABOVE”!
Now before you get your knickers all in a twist, take two (2) flicks and call me in the morning!