Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peter Finch, Paddy Chayefsky, mad as hell and not going to take it any more

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(Above: Peter Finch in Network).

Every so often words fail me, and then I drop back in to my one true love, the movies. And in particular shows like Network, written by Paddy Chayefsky, with a dark satiric intent about a television network that sold its soul to become a goddamned amusement park.

Well Chayesky saw the future, which is now well and truly here, with opinion and news now conflated like a couple of balloons cast adrift to amuse viewers and readers.

So when I hear cries for rational debate, and coherent arguments, and principled stands, I always revert back to that fine moment when that much under-rated Australian actor Peter Finch - driven overseas by outright hostility or meh indifference to the notion of an Australian screen culture and the lack of opportunity on these fair shores - unloads with the mother of all rants.

It's rightly famous, though of course in the context of the movie, it's also sad as he's having a nervous breakdown in full view of the public.

But I guess that's what makes the world a wonderful place, where having a rant in public guarantees you fifteen minutes of fame. And of course ranters don't have to listen to others, they do what comes naturally. They rant.

I expect no sanity from the commentariat, and I give none either.

These days of course in a world populated by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and for that matter Alan Jones, as he took a view on the Cronulla riots, and as newspaper columnists turn into gadflies, and papers hunker down at the bottom of the food chain, I think it's the right of every loon on the planet to accept the call to arms and sound off like Finch.

Now excuse me while I step over to the window, lean out , and shout out to the world ... 

Ah that feels so much better. 


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