It was in the early 1970s when Arthur Janov introduced his method of curing the blossoming anxiety and repression that were sweeping a frail and gullible generation know as the “baby boomers.”
His book, “Primal Therapy,” advocated a solution to that neurosis by the simple method of screaming it away. By digging deep down into your inner being and bringing repressed pain to conscious awareness, one could exorcise that negativity by spontaneous and unrestrained vocal outbursts. So he said.
Moving on to several years later, the movie “Network” hit theaters across the nation. In my humble opinion, Paddy Chayefsky's brilliant writing is the gold standard of screenwriting. And with a scintillating delivery by actor Peter Finch, he brought Chayefsky's words to life. Both men, deservedly, received Academy Awards for their respective contributions.
Let's take a look at parts of it … and see why I'm bringing it to light today, in relation to this column's opening “Primal Therapy” whoop-de-doo. The movie's particular scene, to which I direct you, is set in the newsroom, where an unusually disheveled-looking anchorman, Howard Beale (Finch), is on the air doing his nightly news show. Tormented by the world around him, Beale goes off script and and bemoans ...
“We know things are bad — worse than ever. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in our 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 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. (shouting) You've got to say 'I'm a human being, god-dammit! 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: 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore!'"
Donald Trump claimed he doesn't do cover-ups and his administration is completely transparent. I've neither the room nor do I wish to elaborate on how maddening that is. We all know that he's got more baloney than a meat-packing factory.
But if you are in line with the sycophantic GOP, you don't care. You don't care that a mentally ill man — namely, a pathological liar, vindictive and with dangerously high narcissistic tendencies – is the President of the United States. Fine.
You are completely OK with a clear-cut mentally malfunctioning, insane person in charge just because the economy is good and unemployment is low. That's it. Did you know that Charles Manson was a decent songwriter and Hitler was a talented artist? Does that negate the bad? Jim Jones was a charming orator, as well. That should get him off the hook ... no?! Don't get upset that I compared Trump to Hitler; the fact that he controls our nuclear arsenal and his paranoid impulse to get even is a chillingly dangerous possibility.
And about the nation's situation which he inherited and constantly blames for his inability to function, Trump once said that only he could fix it. Then do it! As a Ziggy cartoon so wisely pointed out: “Don't tell me about the problems you face, tell me about the problems you face up to.”
I welcome rebuttals (500 words or less) to anyone wishing to speak up. I will pick the best and put it in this column. But mentioning Hillary is a no-no. She was never the president. And if she broke the law with her e-mail account, you first have to check in and see how many in this president's administration have done exactly the same thing.
I simply ask that you measure his success, in light of his destructive means, without the need to put others down.
That's the way it looks from the Valley.
Tom Valley resides in Medina. Contact him at: Tvalley@Rochester.RR.com .