From John Macfarlane’s Editor’s Note at The Walrus Magazine:
THE SOLILOQUY Paddy Chayefsky wrote for the character Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network still resonates today:
“…I want you to get mad!… 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!”
…We seem to have forgotten that the freedom afforded by democracy comes at a price: the best and brightest have a responsibility to lead; the electorate has a responsibility to at least try to understand the issues; and the press has a responsibility to make the issues understandable.
Would anyone argue that the men and women running Canada today are our best and brightest? And unless we are willing to step into the public arena ourselves, do we have the right to complain? How many of us think we have discharged our responsibility as citizens simply by casting a ballot? How many Canadians could name their member of Parliament, much less articulate an informed argument about, say, Canada’s military presence in Afghanistan?
As for the press, how can the public possibly understand the issues of the day if its primary sources of information are, in troubling numbers, dumbing down?
Getting mad isn’t the answer — for them or for us. The answer is getting involved.