Mad As Hell!

I always thought representing the concerns of the people was the purpose of a democracy, but 68 years of living in one has proven otherwise. The so called representative democracy of the United States has been taking more and more control over our lives, leaving us with fewer and fewer true freedoms.

I came of age during the sixties. In those days filled with racial tension, the war in Viet Nam, young men burning their draft cards and women burning their bras, I knew the enemy. It was anyone over thirty who supported institutionalized racism and the systematic destruction of any form of government which questioned the spread of democracy and capitalism. It was during the Cold War, one of the wars designed to keep us afraid, which ended with the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union. We also had the War on Poverty, the War on Crime, and the War on Drugs which fed the coffers of the Wall Street investors and government officials, but did not really end anything. These wars were never won because to do so would be a financial and political loss for corporate America and for The White House on the bottom line and that is unacceptable.

Today, the enemy is the same only its spread is greater. Racism still exists. Equality for all does not. This is nothing new. It has existed since the first slaves landed in Jamestown. Black men are still being shot because of the color of our skin. Women, minorities, and LGBT citizens are still underrepresented in the board rooms and in the government, and still underpaid in most sectors. From Washington to the corporate boardrooms, from the lies and deceit which led us into unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the lies and deceit leading to the billions in untaxed dollars by the Oil industry, Enron, World Com, and others. The employees of Enron and World Com lost all of their investments while their executives stashed millions in offshore numbered accounts. And where O’ where are those Weapons of Mass Destruction, Mr. Bush?

The enemy hasn’t changed much, but taking over the oval office is a bit more involved than occupying the provost’s office at the university during my college days. I had very little faith in our electoral process before the 2016 election but now with the constant lies and trash digging by our candidates, I have none. I have witnessed how politics and the dollar influence our greedy, political arenas. I no longer believe my vote matters nor will it make a difference. I don’t see change coming from the inside. Corruption cannot police itself, and believe me the government of the United States is corrupt. I also don’t see any knights in shinning armor coming to our rescue. Hillary carries too much baggage and Trump has stepped on too many toes to make his billions. You can not run out on being President the way he did with so many of his business ventures. His bankruptcies (Six in all) left hundreds without jobs in Atlantic City while he netted millions, and his constant lies have become the real State of The Union in 2018. It’s time for a revolution. I’m not sure how to go about it, but it is definitely time.

The movie Network was made over forty years ago. The out take of Peter Finch’s character, Howard Beale, leaning out of the window and yelling at the top of his lungs, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore,” perfectly describe my emotions today.

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 Peter Finch (September 28, 1916 – January 14, 1977). See Peter Finch as Howard Beale here.  Network , 1976, Sidney Lumet (1924–2011) - Director, Paddy Chayefsky (1923–1981) - Writer. Peter Finch (September 28, 1916 – January 14, 1977). See Peter Finch as Howard Beale here.  Network , 1976, Sidney Lumet (1924–2011) – Director, Paddy Chayefsky (1923–1981) – Writer.

“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 going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s no one anywhere that seems to know what to do with us. Now into it. We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller and all we say is, “Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won’t say anything.” Well I’m not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad. I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I don’t want you to write to your congressman 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 Russians and the crying in the streets. All I know is first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’m a human being. God Dammit, my life has value.” So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” I want you to get up right now. Get up. Go to your windows, open your windows, and stick your head out, and yell, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Things have got to change my friends. You’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!””

Are you Mad Enough Yet?