Monday, February 10, 2014


Subtlety is when you make a point without announcing that you've made a point.

I recently watched the movie Network. It's a movie from the 1970s that was prophetic in its depiction of TV news changing from journalistic integrity to a three-ring circus. The movie has a famous scene where a news anchor who is "tired of the bullshit" and is ranting on air about the sorry state of the world commands the people to go to their windows, stick their heads out, and shout, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore." The call to action was monumental in its scope and its effectiveness. The TV network turned the anchor into a celebrity, giving him his own show that was an absolute spectacle. At the beginning, the studio audience shouted that same line, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore," but there was no conviction in them. They had blank stares and hollow power. They shouted it the same way a studio audience shouts out, "wheel of fortune."

And never once in this movie did they mention it. The whole story was about the network, about the corruption of minds and brainwashing of the people, and the characters did talk about it, but never once did they bash you over the head and demand that you acknowledge their symbolism. What they did was subtle, and I appreciated it. 

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