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Paddy Chayefsky - Dehumanisation

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posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 12:06 PM
Paddy Chayefsky was an American playwright, novelist and in later years a highly successful Hollywood screen writer, so successful in fact that he is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenplay.

In 1976 he released his most famous work, Network, a satirical film about the fictional television network Union Broadcasting System (UBS).

Network has continued to receive recognition, decades after its initial release. In 2000, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

I couldn't agree more.

I'm sure many of you are well aware of this masterpiece; especially it's poignant monologues - 'Mad as Hell!', 'Turn off your Televisions!' and 'There is no Democracy'.

But what some of you may not have seen is the following brilliant interview with Paddy Chayefsky in which he describes the message he was tyring to get across through the film - 'How do you preserve yourself in a world in which life doesn't really mean much anymore?'

He discusses things like the dehumanisation of society through the media - something that the Propaganda Model highlights.

The empirically-supported propaganda model of Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky shows how corporate media are able to carry out large-scale, successful dehumanization campaigns when that promotes the goals (profit-making) that the corporations are contractually obliged to maximise. State media, in either democracies or dictatorships, are also capable of carrying out dehumanization campaigns, to the extent with which the population is unable to counteract the dehumanizing memes. -

He also talks about how we shouldn't take anything we see in the media at face value...

...and how the massively popular media device of the 'sound bite' has a potential danger especially when taken out of context.

Overall I just think it's a great interview with an even greater man who, whilst enjoying television, doesn't trust it for a second.


posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 12:53 PM
thanks. excellent post. also, don't forget that among chayefsky's many other credits, is altered states (both book and screenplay), one of my all time favorites.

for those unaware, it's about consciousness experimentation, including the use of drugs and/or isolation tanks which yields fantastic results that offer experiences and clarities unreachable before (with regard to biological/genetic identification and personal understanding of evolutionary principles. of course, this is an entertainment, so havoc is wrought, more or less. william hurt plays the lead in one of, of not his first, starring role. but, of course, the book is better than the movie.

posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 01:55 PM
reply to post by Hadrian

Altered States sounds very interesting indeed, thanks for the heads up

His early reaction is more one of fascination than concern, but as his priorities gradually change via Emily's unwavering determination to keep from losing him to some unfathomable state of non-being, he finally begins to act like someone who values his humanity more than the vast, impersonal nothingness that underlies all of existence. -

Sounds very much like Chayefsky's work.

Reading the synopsis I was reminded of an article on Antonin Artaud I read a while back and it seems he was the influence for Paddys novel:

After the production failed, Artaud received a grant to travel to Mexico, where he met his first (Mexican) Parisian friend, the Painter Federico Cantú in 1936 when he gave lectures on the decadence of Western civilization. He also studied and lived with the Tarahumaran people and experimented with peyote, recording his experiences, which were later released in a volume called Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara. -

He gets a mention on the Altered States page too.

Another book to add to the ever increasing list

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:01 AM
Just adding the videos again because they have been removed by that specific user

Never gets old.

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