Looking for an ask.mefi comment about our corporate government February 26, 2010 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a comment on an ask.mefi question that was along the lines of "the government is run by corporations and there's nothing we can do about it and that's all it ever will be, ever," but in a much more eloquent way. I think it was sometime in the past 12 months. I know that's not a lot to go on, but anyone have a clue where I might find it?
posted by The Dutchman to MetaFilter-Related at 10:39 AM (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Are you sure it was an AskMe comment and not a scene from the Academy Award-winning motion picture Network? To wit:

Arthur Jensen: [bellowing] You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear? You think you've 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, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU...WILL...ATONE!
Arthur Jensen: [calmly] 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&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 get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, 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 bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that . . . perfect world . . . in which there's no war or famine, oppression or 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, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Howard Beale: Why me?
Arthur Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
Howard Beale: I have seen the face of God.
Arthur Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:28 AM on February 26, 2010 [6 favorites]

Hmm...nope, but that's a good one.
posted by The Dutchman at 11:33 AM on February 26, 2010

It sounds like something Avenger said, but looking through his activity for something like that is like looking through Jessamyn's activity for a comment about library operation.
posted by cashman at 11:40 AM on February 26, 2010 [4 favorites]

1) Good luck finding your specific quote. It's an unusual day that it's only every fourth post in the Blue that doesn't elicit a comment or three along those lines.

2) Shakespeherian has cited what was, in long and remarkable career, Ned Beatty's greatest scene. (No, that other one was lurid, but not what he should be remembered for.)
posted by mojohand at 11:59 AM on February 26, 2010

Obviously the corporations government mods deleted it.

Ceci n'est pas un cabal
posted by blue_beetle at 12:00 PM on February 26, 2010

What's ITT and Union Carbide? Is this like some old Jimmy Stewart movie or something?

I keed! I keed!
posted by slogger at 12:10 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also as vanished as trilobite is the possibility of any television show getting an audience of 60 million viewers. Though if anyone could, it'd be Howard Beale. Pre-Arthur Jensen.
posted by mojohand at 12:29 PM on February 26, 2010

I request that shakespeherian's words be taken down.
posted by deacon_blues at 12:36 PM on February 26, 2010

I love that scene. Ned Beatty almost steals the whole goddamn movie. Can't believe he didn't win an Oscar, and yet Beatrice Straight did...

Although the real movie-stealing prize has to go to the bemused UBS doorman.

Doorman: Good afternoon, Mr. Beale.
Doorman: Sure thing, Mr. Beale.
posted by equalpants at 12:38 PM on February 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Was it a long comment with that sentiment somewhere in it, or was it just a sentence or two?
posted by iconomy at 12:56 PM on February 26, 2010

There is this from (who else but) Pastabagel. But I think you're looking for a different comment.. and I've read it.. and I've scoured my favorites.. and I can't find it. But Pastabagel's comment touches the same nerve.
posted by pwally at 1:46 PM on February 26, 2010

I totally remember this thread. Will look.
posted by salvia at 11:20 PM on February 26, 2010

Hmm, I believe this is the thread I was thinking of --
Throw Every Last One Of The Bums Out

No comment there is an exact match, but it's a fun thread.
posted by salvia at 1:12 AM on February 27, 2010

Also, to find that, I skimmed all the questions in the "law & government" category through May 10, 2009 (at least their titles). Maybe that narrows it down for someone else.
posted by salvia at 1:14 AM on February 27, 2010

Iconomy - It was the entirety of the comment, and an average-sized paragraph in length

pwally - Thanks, but it was much shorter, and I'm preeetty sure it was an Ask comment.

What further complicates my finding this is that I read it because it was linked from another thread I was reading, and probably never checked what question the comment was actually answering.
posted by The Dutchman at 8:01 AM on February 27, 2010

Ahaaa... Nice one shakespeherian... I haven't seen that film, but I love the Snog tune that samples that speech.
posted by pompomtom at 1:10 AM on February 28, 2010

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