What It Will Take

1976…32 years ago, Paddy Chayefsky:

Howard Beale:

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.

Howard Beale: [shouting] 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,



The window thing was a good idea at the time, and great visuals for a movie….but now we have the internet.

And slowly but surely, America is waking up to the fact that they have access not just to information, but also to the ears of those in power.

Study: Americans use Net to look past sound bite

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans dissatisfied with political sound bites are turning to the Internet for a more complete picture, a new study finds.

In a report Sunday, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said that nearly 30% of adults have used the Internet to read or watch unfiltered campaign material – footage of debates, position papers, announcements and transcripts of speeches.

“They want to see the full-blown campaign event. They want to read the speech from beginning to end,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew group. “It’s a push back from the sound-bite culture.”

Push back.

That’s What It Will Take.

Massive, semi-organized push back, coming from The People…over the internet.

For the record….I have no idea how that will happen and no nice tidy plan to make it do so. All I know is that that is what it will take.

That is how it will start, at least. If we can get The People in the streets, so much the better, but don’t count on it. For some reason…..The People are scared to get out in the streets and let their faces be seen by “Homeland Security” and become the targets of their massive domestic spying program.

The government, from our “representatives” in Congress to the cop on the beat, the media, massive faceless corporations and “business interests” (like the MIC) who demand the status quo be enforced so they can profit….all of these forces…The Establishment as we know it, have become more than ever enemies of The People. Their interests are now vastly different from ours. And they don’t care.

The raw power grabbing greed and bald faced looting of the middle and lower classes that the Republicans and George Bush have succeeded in carrying out….and that the Establishment faction of the Democratic Congress has now blatantly bought into… has drawn a line in the sand in a way that has never occurred before. They at least used to have the decency to pretend they cared about The People.

Under George Bush, the masks have come off. The pretense that the Lower and Middle Class are anything but sheep Photobucket has been abandoned.

“They” are waging Class War. Though they deny it….even to themselves, and are shocked when accused of it.

Obama will NOT save us, he is smart enough to know he can’t, especially with the unholy mess he will be faced with when he takes office. The most he can do is allow us to do it, in fact, Obama is calling on US to save ourselves.

Massive, overwhelming, citizen involvement is what it will take to save us. With perhaps a few People’s Champions thrown in.

This is not news, or in any way original thought on my part. I am repeating myself ad the thoughts of others….but repetition is what it will take, pounding on the same themes, throwing more and more rocks in the pond to create those ripples, calling out again and again for those who are being treated as sheep …..to look up. To regain their voice, and to shout for all the world to hear…



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    • brobin on June 16, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    It takes more than one person to stand up at a time to create the change we wish for.  We must take on the subject matter in groups and scream loudly enough to be heard and with enough passion and clairity to be understood.

  1. But it is me so…..

    I often wonder if public protest works well in Europe because it has concentrated urban areas with fewer far flung suburbs. The idea of “community” and the face of it has really really changed in the United States. I am not being critical of suburbanites so much as wondering if the actual organization of suburban communities undercuts the possibility democratic action for ordinary people. That and in Europe organized labor actually exists.

    But if the peoples do get out on the street we should have a mobile wine and coffee bar to go along with it.

    • Edger on June 16, 2008 at 8:03 pm


    Keep pointing fingers too…. “Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment: A Three-Part Guide”

  2. luck or success at getting anyone to listen (except for those

    who already agree).  Maybe the problem is that those of us here (not all, but many) agree with the issues/problems we face but the rest of the country really just doesn’t give a

    shit.  I keep wondering why those on the ‘right’ think it really is correct for the government to pay the richest of the rich (who clearly don’t need it) but not helping the poorest of the poor.  They really have bought the idea that taxing the rich is wrong…. after all, the rich earned their money

    so why should they be punished?!!  I’ve seen the comparison

    of a student with a GPA of 4.0 ‘giving’ some of their credits to a 1.0 student (who didn’t work all semester).   THAT is what is being sent around on the tubes and eaten up by the RW.

    And it’s impossible to explain that they are talking apples and tigers…. I’m truly at a loss as to how to open a thoughtful debate…


  3. Netroots Nation? Just wondered if any of the above topic will be discussed there, nothing against Daily Hoo Haw, but it would be interesting to get the “smaller blog” perspective.

  4. I agree we’ve got to keep repeating and communicating, & the internet has been a great tool for progressives to get the word out.  I’ll have to go back and find the source (I think it was in yesterday’s newspaper), but just wanted to pass this along, FWIW:  The cable company ISP’s will be trying to charge for the internet based on the amount of usage, just like the cell phones are billed now.  

    First, there have beem the recent stories on CNN about how the increased oil prices will be causing other price rises–latest being a 30% rise in energy costs, and increased costs of fuel for school buses might lead to increased school taxe, and how the floods will be leading to still higher food prices in the next six months to year.  Then there was the story about the ISP’s looking for new and better ways to gouge us…  

    I guess we’d better open up those (internet) windows and start shouting loud(er) and often to get the word out.  BTW, FWIW–here’s something worth repeating about McCain’s lousy voting record, with the actual vote #’s:   McCain’s Straight Talk & Support of the Military. I e-mailed my daughter-in-law a copy of the list of 9 McCain votes against funding benefits and equipment for the troops, to share with their military friends.  

  5. is to give them the organizational/logistical tools to put bodies on the streets, feet on the pavement. E.g.:

    nyceve’s diary about the upcoming national protest against the health care insurance companies and for universal health care

    From nyceve’s links, check the California Nurses website and locations for the demonstrations:


    NY Health Plan Assn., 90 State St.

    Time: 5:00 pm

    Contact: mikekeenan@pefencon.info


    Blue Cross/Blue Shield

    3350 Peachtree Road NE

    Time: 3:00 – 5:30 pm

    Contact: msrece@yahoo.com


    Care First Blue Cross, 100 S. Charles St.

    Time: 5:00 – 6:30 pm

    Contact: info@mdsinglepayer.org


    MA Association of Health Care Plans

    Building 30 Court St., opposite City Hall

    Time: 12 Noon

    Contact: jlynnxo@aol.com



    525 W Monroe St.

    Time: 4:30 – 6:30 pm

    Contact: Chisinglepayer@gmail.com


    Blue Cross/Blue Shied

    532 Riverside Ave.

    Time: 4:30 pm

    Contact: markp@floridalaborparty.org


    Humana, 5th and Main St.

    Time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

    Contact: Nursenpo@aol.com

    New York

    GHI office (34th and 9th) and march

    to United Healthcare (33rd and 8th)

    Time: 5:00 pm

    Contact: noprivatization@yahoo.com


    Blue Cross/Blue Shield

    Washington Park

    Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm

    Contact: rayiuc@aol.com


    Cigna, 16th and Chestnut St.

    Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm

    Contact: kcasey@pennanurses.org


    Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield

    120 Fifth Avenue

    Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

    Contact: sm2fox@yahoo.com

    San Antonio

    Humana Insurance Company

    8431 Fredericksburg Rd

    Time: 6:00 pm

    Contact: janelee@satx.rr.com

    Ongoing: The Iraq Moratorium

    Upcoming national mobilization: The National Assembly

    These are the sorts of actions that need to start being listed at the blogs, to get people mobilized.

    IMHO. : )

    • robodd on June 16, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Can you imagine what all of this would have been like if we did not have the internet and had to depend exclusively on the MSM?

    Of course, we did have the underground press in the 60’s and street protest.

    Does the internet keep us off the streets?

    • pico on June 16, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    immediately after Beale delivers that monologue: viewers love it, run to their windows, and start shouting.  But they’re not shouting because they’re mad, or because they want to change the world.  They’re shouting because they enjoy it – it’s fun!  And apart from Beale’s ratings going through the roof, nothing else comes of it.

    Not trying to be a downer, but people who haven’t seen the movie but know the speech might not be aware of just how gut-wrenching this scene is.  Beale’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown and has just been talked out of suicide.  His testament goes out over the airwaves and fizzles on impact.  After this speech, he’s just a circus act.  

    The question is, can we do better?  Or like Beale’s viewers, do we shout because we enjoy the shouting?

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