In 1976, Sidney Lumet’s “Network” set a new bar for satire in American film. It’s sharp-witted, hilarious critique of the media that has not only stood the test of time but in some ways become more relevant today than it was during its release. The script’s poison-pen musings and clever use of wordplay and alliteration make it one of the most quotable comedies of all time. Unfortunately, due to some questionable life choices, you work exclusively with a collective of uncultured 20-somethings who don’t know art from TikTok, whatever that is.
Here are 5 classic lines from an important American film that you can use to further cement your status as the “too old to be there weirdo” at your place of work!
“Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube. This tube is the gospel, the ultimate revelation; this tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers; this tube is the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people”
No matter how hard you try to explain that the internet is the new tube and the bad people are Zuckerberg people are just going to think you’re an old weird dude.
“All human beings are becoming humanoids. All over the world, not just in America. We’re just getting there faster since we’re the most advanced country.”
You would think that this timeless Howard Beale line would be the perfect response for whenever someone so much as mentions TikTok within earshot of you, but alas no. Blank stares and nervous laughter are all you receive. I guess the prophecy has been fulfilled, Mr. Beale! I guess I’m just throwing pearls before social media-addicted swine! Whatever.
“I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
A tried and true classic, and so versatile in a workplace environment! You can bust it out ironically whenever there’s a minor change in protocol, or more earnestly for true inconveniences like having to come in on the weekend! Either way, the reaction you will receive will be, at best, “Is that from something?” and more likely along the lines of “Hey dude, calm down.”
Okay, did I oversell it by screaming really loud and throwing my stapler through a window? Maybe. And did I paraphrase something more like “Fuck all of you!” Yeah, okay, at the moment I guess I did, but come on! Context!
“You need me. You need me badly. Because I’m your last contact with human reality. I love you. And that painful, decaying love is the only thing between you and the shrieking nothingness you live the rest of the day.”
Yeah word of advice, don’t go ahead and assume your boss is cultured enough to recognize this quote during a performance review. You would think it would get a laugh but instead, it just leads to a bunch of blank stares and a whole other goddamn meeting!
“Since this show is the only thing I had going for me in my life, I’ve decided to kill myself. I’m going to blow my brains out right on this program a week from today. So tune in next Tuesday. That should give the public relations people a week to promote the show.”
I am not depressed, okay?! I am AWAKE! There is a DIFFERENCE! Just because a guy is hanging in the break-room quoting classic cinema, and maybe paraphrasing a little and folding in which members of management he would love to take with him does not mean he’s a threat to himself and/or others, okay?! It’s called The Criterion Channel, check it out sometime!
Look, don’t make me bust out the Taxi Driver quotes, okay?