Saturday, January 7, 2012

If That's Your Best, Your Best Won't Do

Peter Finch as Howard Beale in Network (1976) delivering the "Mad as Hell" speech

Today is "I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore" Day.

I find it odd how popular culture has such fondness for this scene from Network. In the "Mad as Hell" speech, Howard Beale isn't imparting information or advice to the viewers, but, rather, he is engaged in a pointless rant of enraged demagoguery; he is angry and wishes to vent it in pointless yelling. Whereas he ought to be delivering the News, Beale instead provides fury-laced "info-tainment" of no value.

Yet, many people consider this scene to be inspirational?!! Heck, JG Wentworth financial services even references this scene as a positive model in an especially annoying commercial.

It is as if the cultivation of loud-mouthed discontentment is a civic virtue. It is as if perceived victimization allows one to wear a mantle of self-righteousness. It is the elevation of aggressive self-entitlement over cooperative rationality and the civil resolution of complaints.

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't problems in the world that inspire anger. Rather, I'm saying that rage in and of itself is not an answer to these problems. In fact, blind fury is often an impediment to one's ability to find a lasting resolution to such problems.

Dee Snider of metal band Twisted Sister, noted for the song "We're Not Gonna Take It" (1984)

My point is that happiness is more reliably derived from taking positive actions to make the world into a better place, while anger-fueled self-aggrandizement leads only to failure and further frustration. Moreover, it is best to remember the old saying, "Don't get angry. Get even." ;-)

So, are you listening to me? What do you want to do with your life?

"I'm Mad as Hell" scene from Network

Obnoxious J.G. Wentworth ad, "It's Your Money"

"We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister

Enjoy!!! :-D

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