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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

"This Tube Is The Gospel"

Monday, December 18, 2006

NPH watched the 1976 film "Network" over the weekend. When Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip did a takeoff on the film for its pilot, On The Media ran a segment (click "Listen Now" on the left) on the foresight of "Network's" writer, Paddy Chayefsky. So our interest was piqued.

It's great stuff (warning: the clip above contains objectionable language). It's all about the blurring of the line between news and entertainment in media, television specifically. 30 years ago, the idea that news could be made more appealing by dressing it up as entertainment was scandalous; today, with our Bill O'Reilley's, we're quite used to the idea (in fact, right before the movie came out, Barbara Walters had just had half of her contract with ABC paid by the network's entertainment division). But that's what's great about "Network": pre-cable news, pre-"reality" television, pre-internet, pre-YouTube, the film articulated deep distress over the confusion between illusion and reality generated by electronic screen media. Consider these gems:

"Television is not the truth! Television's a . . . amusement park! We're in the boredom killing business!"

"We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true."

"You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to believe that the tube is reality and that you're own lives are unreal."

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 5:49 AM

3 Comments:

I had never seen that before, and my surprise at the man apparently falling dead on live television was eclisped just a moment later as the audience began applauding.

Are we still that stupid? Lord, have mercy.
"Network" is an amzing movie. I watched it a few years back (a.k.a. many years back) after Sara Mac recommended it to me.

I hadn't thought about it...but it is downright prophetic. Creepy almost. Add William Holden in his prime and hey...Four stars!

Plus, there's really nothing better than busint out the "I'm mad as..." while playing pick-up basketball.

Now, excuse me, I need to go watch William Shatner and a bunch of pole dancers answer trivia questions.

Yes, VLR, we are still that stupid.
commented by Anonymous Phillips, 11:36 AM  
Yes, VLR, we are still that stupid.

Damn - I was afraid of that.

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