by Michael A. Kominsky (© 2019 Michael A. Kominsky, all rights reserved *)

If justice perishes, human life has lost its meaning
– Emmanuel Kant.

August 19, 2019

“I’m mad as hell…and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Shouts Howard Beale erupting during the middle of his newscast in a beige rain coat, his wet, gray hair plastered to his head. It is the beginning of his transfiguration into a mythical cult hero, now an enduring totem crying out against social injustice.

So, who is the eponymous Howard Beale…and why has he become the iconic symbol for outrage and political activism against the collective insanity, the social ailments and depravity existing in the world? And why is he now more relevant than ever?

Howard Beale is the fictional central character from the film Network (1976). In the film, Beale, the anchorman for the UBS Evening News, struggles to accept the inequities of the world he reports. The film concludes with the murder of Beale on national television; a voice over darkly proclaims him “the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings”.

You can view the eerily prescient, brilliantly written (by Paddy Chayefsky) 13 min. video excerpt, along with the actual screenplay text, which distills and delivers the moral payload of the film: the socio-pathology of world domination by the mega-corporations of capitalism (at 7 min. into the video) at:


To better comprehend and appreciate the social phenomenon of a Howard Beale, we must first understand how man’s intrinsic imperative to grapple with the inherent social contradictions of living in a so-called civilized society has been ameliorated by art. Through the millennia, the innate human compulsion to connect with his fellow man beyond the quotidian task of survival through various art forms has somehow survived, despite desperate attempts by despots to silence it. Art is a meta-level of consciousness: An affirmation of the human condition and all its wonder, and it must not be left unsaid, its foibles and flaws. To create is as intrinsic in the human spirit as the biological urge to procreate.

Early manifestations of art as a powerful agent of social change can be found in the art form of the novel. The novel with a purpose is, one contends, a preaching novel. But it preaches by telling things and showing things. The preaching, the moralizing is the result not of direct appeal by the writer, but is made—should be made—to the reader by the very incidents of the story. It is the complaint of the coward, this cry against the novel with a purpose, because it brings the tragedies and grief of others to notice. Take this element from fiction, take from it the power and opportunity to prove that injustice, crime and inequality do exist and what is left? Just the amusing novels that entertain.

Throughout history, some of the greatest agents of social change have been ignited through works of fiction—including classics: Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly—1852), Charles Dickens( A Tale of Two Cities—1859), Herman Melville (Moby-Dick; or The Whale—1851), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World—1932), John Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath—1939), and George Orwell (1984—1949).

So just as the opening question in Ayn Rand’s iconic Libertarian novel Atlas Shrugged, is, “Who is John Galt?” — he is no longer a person but a symbol for Libertarian ideology and unfettered free-market capitalism. Howard Beale is the liberal antithesis of Galt…raging against the inequities of a rigged corporate system of hyper-capitalistic greed and avarice. Capitalism run amok.

It is through this ancient and sacred tradition of allegory, of striving to deliver their moral payload, that is documented as far back as the Paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux 20,000 years ago. By connecting to the primordial instinct to share the experience of the human condition through captivating storytelling, in all its art forms, thus passing on cumulative wisdom and tradition through parable for generations to follow. I believe the highest and indispensable calling of the artist is to be a prophet, essentially a healing secular shaman, historian and conscience of civilization.

The exponential technological evolution of the forms of artistic expression now allows us to put words to music, and more cogently, words and music to moving images, and through the internet essentially dismantling the traditional broadcast paradigm from one to many, to…many to many. In its highest form unfettered democracy unleashed – it can promote a synergy of magnanimous ideals and enlightenment. Or sadly, a powerful force for the promulgation of malice and far too often, willful arrogant ignorance.

I believe that if Howard Beale was actually alive, he would be screaming full volume, leading a roaring chorus of outrage, “I’m as mad as hell…and I’m not going to take it any more!”

Ah…but the good news is…Howard Beale Lives On!! His domicile is:

Hunter Beale, Howard Beale’s not-so-kinder, gentler “son”… is still “mad as hell”, and is carrying on his father’s work with even more ferocity…of fighting the international mega-corporations and collective world-wide insanity of apathy to climate change and injustice.

Which brings us to the current perverse political landscape. The ubiquitous media dominated by the domineering bully pulpit of bombastic, divisive and nativistic narrative, propagandized by the Bully-in-Chief, and through the tacit advocacy of sycophantic Republicans, is crowding out any altruistic counter-narrative.

And this is where art, as a powerful agent of social change must now intervene. We need a new story that explains the present and guides the future, says author George Monbiot. Drawing on findings from psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology, he offers a new vision for society built around our fundamental capacity for altruism and cooperation. As Monsboit insightfully states, you cannot expect to change someone’s toxic inner narrative without first offering an alternative which appeals to the innate altruism of man to replace it. But first, a prelude of moral outrage must occur, a chorus of disparate voices across all party lines, races and religions, most especially the so-called Christians, of calling out the absence of moral outrage against the abject immorality and injustice of the status quo; a contagious viral epidemic chanting, “Where is the outrage?”

It has been said, that the role of the artist is to live out loud. The visuals arts can communicate in even more powerful ways mere words cannot. Painting, photography, sculpture, dance and cinema can connect at a visceral metaphysical level that can, when done with passion and purity of intent, bypass the intellect, directly penetrating our primal core. It is long past due to counterbalance the cacophony of the increasingly alarming zeitgeist of malicious, indeed malignant narrative. Artists must now, more than ever, take up the clarion call to not just offer an alternative narrative but to shout it from the rooftops as Howard Beale exhorts us all in the film Networks: “I’m mad as hell…and I’m not going to take it any more!” Life imitating art…in other words, Be Beale!!

The calling out of the blind worship of capitalism, industry, technology and oblivious reliance on fossil fuel, despite imperative warnings of 97% of the credible scientific climate community, is being subverted by the Trump administration and the alt-right media, most especially state-run TV, Fox “News”. The idiot light on the dashboard is now frantically flashing red, admonishing us to shut down the engine of greenhouse gases…before any more irreparable damage is done. It is the tragic replay…over and over again…of the Greek mythos of Nemesis, (Gr. to pay what is due) divine retribution for man’s hubris as he blithely allows the slow systematic Matricide of Gaia. Tortured and slowly suffocated by a blanket of CO2 at the hands of Her own ungrateful children—a deadly irony—with the same inexorable efficiency of the technology that caused it.

Literature, music, journalism, all art-forms, and yes, especially film-making must now respond as if the survival of democracy as we know it is to endure. Because it does. For it is no less an existential crisis for the survival of fully formed civilized humans, than reckoning with climate change. Indeed climate change cannot realistically be solved without first confronting the injustice of the status quo. The Great Wake-up. It is time for a Neo-Renaissance – an explosion of scientific innovation to combat climate change, Simply stated it is time to change the national narrative from ME…to WE.

If the timid among the Democrats fail to even attempt to hold this miscreant Pretend President Trump accountable, the profound negative consequences of ignoring the rule of law, I believe places the democracy in extreme unprecedented peril.

The Democrats would lose all moral authority to govern. If not this president, at this time, then when?

Trump must be held accountable and subjected to the process of impeachment…whether he is convicted or not by the Senate, or the country will have tragically, perhaps irredeemably, lost it’s way and forfeited any moral authority on the world stage…to our allies…and more importantly, our enemies, most especially Putin and the Ruskies, the PRK and Iran.

History will not be kind to those who failed to do the right thing, to execute justice in the face of such overwhelming compelling evidence of criminal misconduct/malfeasance for fear of some adverse political consequence…including those in the HR and especially the Senate. With the overwhelming mid-term victory in the HR, the people have vociferously and unambiguously spoken…and it will only get louder if the Democrats demonstrate the courage and political will to DUMP TRUMP.

Make all of them walk the political plank by recording their vote on impeachment for history and let the people see who voted along strictly partisan lines, then carpet bomb the airways with TV campaign ads calling them out as partisan political hacks who value party over country. This could spark a collective epiphany of voters, potentially replacing most of the 22 GOP Senate seats up for re-election in 2020 giving the Democrats the trifecta in 2020 and perhaps a filibuster-proof Senate majority. Then let’s clean house, including confirm a liberal Supreme Court Justice for Ginsburg, drain the swamp and reclaim the land formerly known as America.

Nobody knows what the considerable judicial power of a formal impeachment inquiry could reveal. Tax returns etc.. It’s just the top of the first inning. The political landscape can change almost overnight…IF…and only IF congress does its constitutionally mandated duty.

History informs and instructs us that for years nothing seems to happen…then in weeks, years can happen…

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke.

I hope you good men and women of goodwill, will join me at and the already 1.5 millions Americans who have signed the on-line petition:

To the artists: BE BEALE! Noli Timere!! (Be not afraid! The dying words of Irish poet Seamus Heaney)

Michael Kominsky (aka Hunter Beale)
Word count: approx. 1,800 Character count: approx 11,000 (incl. spaces)

* In accordance with the “fair use” doctrine I hereby grant permission, indeed encourage the use of the material including extensive quotation, reference to, and incorporation of, into any literary work, including fiction, for “purposes of criticism, commentary, review parody, reporting and teaching” with proper author attribution.


The Great American Nightmare – Donald J. Jackass Trump

– Now What? –

Be ashamed to die until you have scored some victory for humanity.
-Horace Mann

As James Joyce famously penned, “History is the nightmare from which I am trying to awake…’

There are now four Days of Infamy in history seared into American consciousness:

December 7, 1941
November 22, 1963
September 11, 2001
November 8, 2016

The time for  sedentary sofa advocacy and whining lamentation is now over!

Quite a week…quite a year, culminating with the Coronation of Il Douche(sic), a Mussolini with bad hair, aka Donald J.(Jackass) Trump.

Friday January 20, 2017, the so-called inaugural speech reeking with darkness, negativity, bluster and self-aggrandizement…delivered like some braying donkey in heat.

Saturday January 21, 2017 THE MILLION WOMEN MARCH:  Quite the spectacle…The Sisters are Getting Restless!  “Hell hath NO fury like a woman scorned.”

Not much left to say after the coup d’ etat of November 8th, except TAKE IT TO THE STREETS!

The 4Rs  for the Great Wakeup—the Neo-Renaissance of Humanity:

RESIST! – Peaceful non-violent resistance, protest and demonstration

REMOVE! -The Big Money paid by Corporations/PACs from elections and the politicians who accept it. Repeal the Citizens United decision!

REGULATE! -The financial and banking mega-complex and protect the planet

REBEL! -Take it to the Streets!

See you there! (Copy and spread the The 4Rs of REVOLUTION logo!)


A prescient excerpt from the 1976 film Network…

Watch the film clip on Windows Media (Download)

A 13 min. clip from the film Network…

To watch the 13 min. film clip streaming on Firefox or Chrome browser in a New Tab [click here]

(Please note–If using Firefox make certain the WIN MEDIA plugin is installed. Unfortunately Chrome browser >40.0 does not support WIN MEDIA plugin. MS Internet Explorer plays the clip after you allow the add-on to play.)



From the movie Network(1976)
Written by Paddy Chayefsky and Directed by Sidney Lumet

Even if you have seen it before, I would recommend watching it again. A Great American Classic…

A  brilliant scene which distills and delivers the moral payload of the film: the sociopathology of world domination by the Mega-corporations of Capitalism.

Almost forty years later—never more relevant than today…

After attempting to prevent a corporate merger by exhorting his television viewing acolytes to write their congressman to protest and scuttle the merger, Howard Beale(Peter Finch) has been called into the corporate offices of the network to receive the message of the Gospel of Capitalism delivered chapter and verse from the President of the Corporation Arthur Jensen(Ned Beatty):

An enormous office with two walls of windows towering over the Manhattan landscape and through which SUNLIGHT streams in. Arthur Jensen is rising from behind his massive desk.

Good afternoon, Mr. Beale. They tell me you’re a madman.
CAMERA DOLLIES to include Howard just coming into the room.

(closing the door behind himself)
Only desultorily.

How are you now?

(as mad as a hatter) I’m as mad as a hatter.

Who isn’t? Don’t sit down. I’m taking you to our conference room which seems more seemly a setting for what I have to say to you.
He takes Howard’s arm and moves him to a large oaken door leading out of Jensen’s office.

I started as a salesman, Mr. Beale. I sold sewing machines and automobile parts, hair brushes and electronic equipment. They say I can sell anything. I’d like to try and sell something to you.

They pass into:

Valhalla, Mr. Beale, please sit down.

He leads Howard down the steps to the floor level, himself ascends again to the small stage and the podium. Jensen pushes a button, and the enormous drapes slowly fall, slicing away layers of light until the vast room is utterly dark. Then, the little pinspots at each of the desks, including the one behind which Howard is seated, pop on, creating a miniature Milky Way effect. A shaft of white LIGHT shoots out from the rear of the room, spotting Jensen on the podium, a sun of its own little galaxy. Behind him, the shadowed white of the lecture screen. Jensen suddenly wheels to his audience of one and roars out:

You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal that is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity, it is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians. There are no Arabs! There are no third worlds! There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars! petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars!, Reichmarks, rubles, rin, pounds and shekels! It is the international system of currency that determines the totality of life on this planet! That is the natural order of things today! That is the atomic, subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?
You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT and T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state Karl Marx? They pull outtheir linear programming charts, statistical decision theories and miniMax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children, Mr. Beale, will live to see that perfect world in which there is no war and famine, oppression and brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale.


(humble whisper)
Why me?

Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
Howard slowly rises from the blackness of his seat so that he is lit only by the ethereal diffusion of light shooting out from the rear of the room. He stares at Jensen spotted on the podium, transfixed.

I have seen the face of God!
In b.g., up on the podium, Jensen considers this curious statement for a moment.

You just might be right, Mr. Beale.

That evening, Howard Beale went on the air to preach the corporate cosmology of Arthur Jensen.


Oscar Winners 1976:

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Peter Finch

Nomination and award were posthumous. Finch became the first posthumous winner in an acting categorary.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Faye Dunaway-

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Beatrice Straight

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Paddy Chayefsky

Nominated for an Oscar:

Best Picture
Howard Gottfried

‘Network’ becomes the second film to win three awards for acting, following A Streetcar Named Desire

Best Actor in a Leading Role
William Holden
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Ned Beatty
Best Director
Sidney Lumet
Best Cinematography
Owen Roizman
Best Film Editing
Alan Heim

Using gear icon to select 1080P then click full screen arrow in top right