Mad is in the Air ~ So Vote!

                                        Love is the Key ~ Philip Brent Harris

Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength,  Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment

Over coffee with a friend during the primaries, we discussed tRump. We disagreed about the tRump phenomenon. While I feel the rhetoric of hate, bigotry, misogyny he spews sets a dangerous tone, incites conflict and reduces the presidency and government to the level of bullies on the playground, my friend thinks tRump is merely stirring the pot. As we tossed ideas and arguments back and forth, the movie, “Network” came up. Recently, I realized what we needed was a Howard Beale of 2018. If you are not familiar with the movie, Howard Beale is an evening anchor on a fictional television network. He has been fired, but in the two weeks he has remaining, he decides to let loose and tell it like it is. As you can imagine, his ratings sore.

I’ve slightly altered Beale’s rant from Paddy Chayefsky’s 1975 (let that date sink in) “Network” screenplay to show you what I mean. What I changed or added (only in one case) has been italicized. I believe this is doubly important on the eve of the mid-term elections. Whatever you think about the state of the country or its leaders, VOTE. I hope Howard Beale’s rant will sway you to my side, but even if it doesn’t, VOTE. This is the rant. I think you will agree most of it still applies today.

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 worth, banks are just crooks, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter, cops are gunning down children in the streets, and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it.  We know the air’s unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit and watch our smartphones while some local newscaster tells us today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes and a terrorist incident at home or abroad, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We all know things are bad. Worse than bad.  They’re crazy. It’s like everything’s going crazy.  So we don’t go out any more.  We sit in the house, and slowly the world we live in gets smaller, and all we ask is please, at least leave us alone in our own living rooms.  Let me have my smartphone and my HD and my twitter and my Instagram accounts, and I won’t say anything, just leave us alone. Well, I’m not going to leave you alone.  I want you to get mad — I don’t want you to riot.  I don’t want you to protest.  I don’t want you to write your congressmen.  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 defense budget and the terrorists and crime in the street.  All I know is first you got to get mad.  You’ve got to say:  “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.  I’m a human being, goddammit.  My life has value.”  So I want you to get up now.  I want you to get out of your chairs and go to the window.  Right now.  I want you to go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell.  I want you to yell: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

And I would ad,   I want you to get out of your chairs and go VOTE.

I hope you can see how closely this mirrors the today’s world. And, if you believe I’m wrong, I woke up the other morning to hear an NPR pundit talking about tRump say, “the public are mad as hell and don’t want to take this anymore.

I don’t believe our system is completely broken, but it has been skewed and screwed by self-serving politicians on both sides. That is part of tRump’s message and perhaps what originally drew followers to him. Unfortunately, his message has become the antithesis of what makes America great, openness, our willingness to accept others, using their best to meld them into our population and make us better. So when I hear tRump say he will make our country great again, all I can say is, “I’m mad as hell and I won’t take this anymore, so I VOTED.”

Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength,  Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment

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