Netflix movies on demand make it easy to go back to movies from long ago and find insights that you didn't have at the time they were first seen. We did that last night with Network.
It was a satire in 1976. But, Atlas Shrugged was interpreted by many in the mid-'40s as an apocalyptic love story without much relationship to reality. Today both Atlas and Network are reality.
You naturally remember the catchphrase of Howard Beale. You may even remember the whole pajama clad spiel urging to people to rush to their windows, throw them open and shout it into the streets, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."
Maybe more chilling in terms of what I see every time I face a community college class is this description of the information-seeking habits of modern Americans. It is much worse than even Howard Beale thought:
TV Controls Your Mind
Maybe the most critical soliloquy of the movie is this one delivered by Ned Beatty in the Howard Beale style:
The Reality Is Not What You Think
Art becomes reality.