Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Now Warner Brothers Discovery Might Merge With Paramount and I Just Keep Thinking About, that "Network," Movie

Warner Brothers Discovery, itself a company created via a merger, might merge with Paramount. It is like these corporations just keep eating each other and rolling up into one big monstrosity. It all makes me think of, "Network." 

Yeah, remember that movie, "Network," by chance? No, not, "The Social Network," which was about Facebook and a good movie (but different). "Network," was a comedy-thriller-satire that came out in 1976 and featured a variety of characters including Peter Finch as Howard Beale. Howard Beale has a mental breakdown of sorts but his ramblings make for good television and he becomes a household hit as a news network moves away from actual news and instead goes for shocking things that scare viewers and reinforce their beliefs instead of challenging them. The movie was surreally prophetic, especially in its discussion of how there aren't nations so much as there are corporations. A character known as Arthur Jensen (played by Ned Beatty) tells Howard Beale how, "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." This speech among the entire superb script was written by Paddy Chayefsky, a genius for sure.

We seem to be moving more and more in the direction of a handful of megacorporations that have their hands in everything from stovetops to streaming, to theme parks to twill pants, and everything else. Instead of a college of corporations, we are moving at this rate towards having one single massive corporation owning essentially everything, and you can see it every day as companies just keep combining into a single imposing force. If we made a sequel to, "Network," somehow the idea of news networks running salacious stories and propaganda instead of the news would seem more quaint than shocking now. The stuff about corporations tho? That still carries a lot of prophetic heft and seems to be the direction we're moving in more every day. It's like a nesting doll of corporations inside corporations inside one big conglomerate. I for one just hope when Amazon-Disney-Apple-Warner Brothers Discovery-Paramount-Walmart-General Electric is formed it isn't some kind of self-aware corporation that deems humans little more than fodder for capitalism. I mean, that kind of is capitalism and how it views people anyway, but you know what I mean. More as this all develops.

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