An increasingly infrequent delve into the creaky mental workings of a cynical old man
Reagan won. I watched the complete speech your clip is excerpted from (it's on youtube under the title: "Jimmy Carter: Crisis of Confidence"), & found it startling. Carter really takes on the role of America's Pastor here, and looks into the nation's Dark Night of the Soul with a frankness that has since become unthinkable for presidents. Maybe his message was too downbeat, too challenging, too moralizing, not "helpful" etc., and politically a Bad Idea, but at least it's not the focus-grouped pablum we've grown used to. As to his goal of weaning the nation off foreign oil, I guess that was some combination audacious, hubristic and naïve, but it still seems something to work toward, and is it so un-doable? From the same speech: "In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose." He's taking on Consumerism itself there, what a subversive. Who wants to hear that? Sidenote: An owner of one of the original (and still working) Carter White House solar panels (which Reagan took down) offered it to the Obama administration for re-installation. The offer was prudently declined: taint of malaise and all that. And as to "Network", this movie has proven prescient: What seemed then a scathingly over-the-top satire has become the new normal. Or perhaps, we've come around to seeing things from its perspective. As I wrote in my email, life has imitated art to the point of plagiarism. Essential viewing.
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