“Angry Black Man”

The Emperor chastises from Paradise. I swing my yo-yo in the cold ditch. I’m in arrears on my carbon tax. My Obamacare levy remains unpaid.

I’m cut to the bone by a slipped stroke. I yearn for balm – But I’ve another $5K to earn before I can afford to die in the lap of hospitular luxury. I do their desire for a daily hire, and I die like a dog in a ditch. (Service, 1907)

I fall off my train, limp in pain down the stair – pushed on from behind by the faceless tormenters of hell once known as humankind. Through the dusk and the cold of global warmed snow I reach the frozen entrance way of the box of my cubist home.  Howard’s words echo in my ears as I struggle on poisoned leg to the top of the stair. Dragging myself to the window’s sill, I ratchet up my last ounce of courage and scream to those who cannot hear: ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ (Lumet, 1976)

Hollow eyed the windows facing hear nothing and no echo is heard. Where are the men, the angry men, that raised a stein and a sword to call forth liberty? Are there no heroes left in this cold land?

Response of an “Angry Black Man”

Howard Beale: I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE ! (Supra)

Works Cited

Lumet, S. (Director). (1976). Network [Motion Picture].

Service, R. (1907). The Song of the Wage-slave. Retrieved from Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174350

James Strawn About James Strawn

James is an IT consultant and solutions architect with decades of experience working on various major projects with Fortune 500 companies. He is also an author and editor for DecidingTheVote.com, a blog forum for politically active citizens and professionals.

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