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kenmc's avatar

What are your thoughts on this famous quote from the movie, Network?

Asked by kenmc (11763points) May 6th, 2009

“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 work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three 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 the house, and slowly the world we are 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 my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna 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 crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad.

You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! 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, sit up, go to your windows, open them 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. But first, you’ve gotta 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 the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:


—Howard Beale (Peter Finch)

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15 Answers

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

That is one of my favorite movies. It’s funny, I ask my parents and people their age about that movie, and most have seen it, but none remember what it was really about. Its scary to see a movie made so far back, be so relevant to whats going on today.

How about this conversation in the movie?
JENSEN: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal—that is not the case!

The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back.

It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity, it is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples.

There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians. There are no Arabs! There are no third worlds! There is no West!

There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars!

It is the international system of currency that determines the totality of life on this planet! That is the natural order of things today!

That is the atomic, subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?

You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy.

There is only IBM and ITT and A T and T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state—Karl Marx?

They pull out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories and minimax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do.

We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business.

The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children, Mr. Beale, will live to see that perfect world in which there is no war and famine, oppression and brutality—one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.

And I have chosen you to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale.

HOWARD: (humble whisper) Why me?

JENSEN: Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.

(He stares at JENSEN spotted on the podium, transfixed).

HOWARD: I have seen the face of God!

kenmc's avatar


It’s amazing… When I read that all I can think is, ”...truth.”

It’s a wholly depressing thought.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

That is quite possibly one of the most brilliant moments in film.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Weird you mention this as I listened to that speech like ten times this weekend as I recently discovered a band that plays that clip in one of their songs

kenmc's avatar


Well you know what they say about great minds…

They’re overrated.

Jeruba's avatar

Just as a point of information in this discussion, the move came out in 1976. Here’s the page in IMDb.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@boots And opinions are like assholes…

everyone has four of them.

kenmc's avatar

@benjaminlevi Maybe you should see a doctor…

benjaminlevi's avatar

@boots Maybe everyone else in the world who isn’t me should see the doctor. A million people can be wrong.

kenmc's avatar

@benjaminlevi That all depends on your definition of “wrong”.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@boots hmm, let me see, ahh ahem, yes
Wrong: what everyone else is.

knitfroggy's avatar

It’s pretty relevant, I’d say. Why don’t we all stick our heads out the window and yell?

kenmc's avatar


This is America (at least here with me)...

We won’t do that unless we’re paid!!

knitfroggy's avatar

@boots Sounds about right! :)

bright_eyes00's avatar

its like reading about our lives in america and what we should be doing despite what we are doing. its sad…the truth rings through it more than anything else though.

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