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Response to slackmaster (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 09:30 AM

15. The Howard Beale character in Network had two great speeches. 'Mad as hell' is the famous and

 

theatrical speech, remembered by most fans with a surface grasp of the piece. The more important speech is known as 'woe to us' and in this thread, few things could be more pertinent.
Beale: Edward George Ruddy died today! Edward George Ruddy was the Chairman of the Board of the Union Broadcasting Systems, and he died at eleven o'clock this morning of a heart condition, and woe is us! We're in a lot of trouble!
So. A rich little man with white hair died. What has that got to do with the price of rice, right? And *why* is that woe to us? Because you people, and sixty-two million other Americans, are listening to me right now. Because less than three percent of you people read books! Because less than fifteen percent of you read newspapers! Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of this tube! This tube is the Gospel, the ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers... This tube is the most awesome God-damned force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls in to the hands of the wrong people, and that's why woe is us that Edward George Ruddy died. Because this company is now in the hands of CCA - the Communication Corporation of America. There's a new Chairman of the Board, a man called Frank Hackett, sitting in Mr. Ruddy's office on the twentieth floor. And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome God-damned propoganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be peddled for truth on this network?

Look up the rest, or go watch the film and pay attention past the famous quotations. The above speech and the rest of the scene by Paddy Chayefsky is one of the greatest speeches in all film history. It is the key to understanding Howard Beale's actions in the film, including the Mad as Hell speech. Leave out this piece, you miss the entire point of the film.
Logged on just to post this. The idea of you attempting to invoke Chayefsky in this context required some action.

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