thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Really very busy at the moment so proper blogging will begin again on Thursday. In the meantime some more classic passages from the 1974 film 'Network'. If you haven't seen it, you should....

Firstly, Howard Beale the Newsreader on live TV - how often have you wished they would come out with something like this?

HOWARD - Good evening. Today is Wednesday, September the twenty-fourth, and this is my last broadcast. Yesterday, I announced on this program that I would commit public suicide, admittedly an act of madness. Well, I'll tell you what happened -- I just ran out of bullshit…

(looks around) am I still on the air?

Bullshit is all the reasons we give for living, and, if we can't think up any reasons of our own, we always have the God bullshit. We don't know why the hell we're going through all this pointless pain, humiliation and decay, so there better be someone somewhere who does know; that's the God bullshit (pauses again)

If you don't like the God bullshit, how about the man bullshit? Man is a noble creature who can order his own world, who needs God? Well, if there's anybody out there who can look around this demented slaughterhouse of a world we live in and tell me man is a noble creature, then that man is full of bullshit.

- I don't have any kids - and I was married for thirty-three years of shrill, shrieking fraud and every day, five days a week, for fifteen years, I've been sitting behind this desk - the dispassionate pundit reporting with seemly detachment the daily parade of lunacies that constitute the news and so I don't have any bullshit left. I just ran out of it you see.

And another.....

Last night, I was awakened from a fitful sleep at shortly after two o'clock in the morning by a shrill, sibilant, faceless voice that was sitting in my rocking chair. I couldn't make it out at first in the dark bedroom. I said: "I'm sorry, you'll have to talk a little louder." And the Voice said to me: "I want you to tell the people the truth, not an easy thing to do; because the people don't want to know the truth." I said: "You're kidding. How the hell would I know what the truth is?" I mean, you have to picture me sitting there on the foot of the bed talking to an empty rocking chair. I said to myself: "Howard, you are some kind of banjo-brain sitting here talking to an empty chair." But the Voice said to me: "Don't worry about the truth. I'll put the words in your mouth." And I said: "What is this, the burning bush? For God's sake, I'm not Moses." And the Voice said to me: "And I'm not God, what's that got to do with it --And the Voice said to me: "We're not talking about eternal truth or absolute truth or ultimate truth! We're talking about impermanent, transient, human truth! I don't expect you people to be capable of truth! But, goddamit, you're at least capable of self-preservation! That's good enough! I want you to go out and tell the people to preserve themselves -- "

Ok... So How did this manifest itself....

"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 worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter, punks are running wild in the streets, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air's unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit and watch our TVs while some local newscaster tells us today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We all know things are bad. Worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything's going crazy. So we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we live in gets smaller, and all we ask is please, at least leave us alone in our own living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my tv and my hair-dryer and my steel-belted radials, and I won't say anything, just leave us alone. Well, I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad.

I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to write your congressmen. 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 defense budget and the Russians and crime in the street. All I know is first you got to get mad. You've got to say: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more. I'm a human being, goddammit. My life has value." So I want you to get up now. I want you to get out of your chairs and go to the window. Right now. I want you to go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell. I want you to yell: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!"

Get up from your chairs. Go to the window. Open it. Stick your head out and yell and keep yelling. First, you have to get mad. When you're mad enough we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. Things have got to change. But you can't change them unless you're mad. You have to get mad. Go to the window ---- Stick your head out and yell. I want you to yell: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!"

If you haven't seen this film then make it a priority.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 4:08 pm  
  • At 6:43 pm, Blogger justin barker said…

    Beautiful! A gem! I must see this.

  • At 8:21 pm, Blogger Newsguy said…

    And this was in 1974. Thirty two years ago. And it is all even more true now than it was then. News has gotten way more corporate, way more right-wing. The media. broadcast TV and radio, cable, magazines, newspapers, the film studios are all owned by about four huge corporations.

    Robert McChesney has written in Rich Media, Poor Democracy that the media has become an anti-democratic force in the world. I recommend his books very highly.

  • At 8:57 pm, Blogger mikevotes said…

    I'm gonna steal your pictures, michael. You know why, I'll credit back.

    Also, check out the comment I got on this post.

    At first I thought it was from you and my jaw dropped. As you're usually so thoughtful in your comments, I felt obliged to stick in a disclaimer that it wasn't you.

    Check it out, you'll see why my jaw dropped.

    And I haven't seen Network in a long time.


  • At 10:53 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    i know bob mcchesneys stuff. he is always in documentaries and his webiste is good too. just

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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
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  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
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