Thursday, February 11, 2016

Howard Beale for President

The U.S. Presidential Election of 2016 will no doubt go down in history as one of the strangest.

Who would have thought a few years ago (or even a few months ago) that the front runners would be an angry old billionaire from Queens (Donald Trump) and an angry old Democratic Socialist from Brooklyn (Bernard "Bernie" Sanders)?

Somewhere in heaven, Paddy Chayefsky must be laughing.

Who is Paddy Chayefsky and why would he be chuckling over the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election? Chayefsky, an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and novelist from the Bronx (yet another New Yorker who knew how to channel anger), wrote the screenplay for the movie Network (which won him one of his Oscars) and created the character  Howard Beale, a disgruntled newsman who was "mad as hell" and wasn't "going to take this anymore!"

For those who have seen Network, or know the famous "Mad as Hell" speech, this election must seem like life imitating art.

Both candidates, Donald Trump on the Republican side, and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic one, claim to be angry, or mad as hell, about the way things are or are going in this country.

And they want their supporters to go to their windows (or polling places) and tell the world they are, likewise, mad as hell and aren't going to take "this" (whatever "this" is) anymore. And their supporters are doing it!

Apparently, hope is dead and anger is in this election cycle. And both Trump and Sanders are channeling voter anger to garner votes.

However, while anger may seem like a winning strategy now, just remember what happened to Howard Beale. He was murdered on live TV. Of course, in Donald Trump's case, that probably wouldn't stop people voting for him.

[Speaking of the Donald, if you haven't seen Funny or Die's Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie, I highly suggest you watch it this weekend -- and be sure to watch the end credits.]

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