“You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.” 

John Lennon

August Discussion Calls

Call 1

Movie

Network

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This movie shows us some of the tensions of late-stage capitalism and a world dominated by corporations. Various characters in the movie deal with the issues of dehumanization in different ways as we get a glimpse of the change needed to move from the Orange meme to the Green meme, the differences in values and the compromises or positions of different characters that are obviously untenable. 

n the 1970s, terrorist violence is the stuff of networks' nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS Television Network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network.

The movie has limited violence (although it has an assassination in the end), limited nudity and some swearing. 

Link To The Movie

Movie

Call Questions

Network won many awards and is highly regarded by many movie critics for good reason. It addresses many important issues well. 

Here are some questions and ideas to consider in watching the movie:

  • Howard Beale had a ratings problem that was transformed in the early part of the movie. How did that happen and why did that happen?
  • Why are ratings more important than anything else on the network?
  • What is the relationship between the individual and their lived experience and the requirements/needs of the system?
  • Often in the film, we are shown people looking at the numbers. What is that all about? Are the numbers the "truth" and if so why?
  • At one point the novelty of the revamped Beale Show leveled off. How important is novelty?
  • Why is entertainment so important in this culture?
  • Beale had an epiphany of connection with the universe. We might associate that with someone who was leaving the Orange system and seeking to transition to Green where that thinking would be more welcome. That did not happen. What are your thoughts about that?
  • There was a subplot around a social justice movement that was staging crimes like bank robberies and filming them to become noticed. How does the televised world impact how someone or a group tries to become visible? How do ratings and finding needs influence the choices made?
  • Jenson, the head of the corporation, takes Beale to task for exposing the corporation's relationship with the Saudis. What do you think of his speech where he says that there are no nations, no individuals, just corporations? that the world is a business, a global order of finance and that that is the natural order?
  • What does success mean and how is it defined in this movie?
  • Max begins a relationship with Diana, the head of programming. He talks about how everyone has a role in her script. What do you think of that as a way of living and do you think that reflects reality, even a little?
  • At the end of Max's relationship with Diana, he talks about how everyone around the network is destroyed by them. He talks about how his ability to feel and how decency is his way not to be destroyed. Is this a person perhaps moving towards the Green meme?

Call Recording - Network

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Call 2

The Wizard of Oz

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When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to the magical land of Oz. They follow the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, and en route they meet a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) that needs a brain, a Tin Man (Jack Haley) missing a heart, and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) who wants courage. The wizard asks the group to bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) to earn his help.

Link To The Movie

Watch Wizard Of Oz

Movie

Call Questions

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Call Recording

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