America’s Well-Documented Decline Amid Wars in the Air, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

The movie Network proved to be prophetic about America’s decline in a media-centric age. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at

In 1976, some of the families sharing older ancestral lineages in my hometown were asked to march together in our bicentennial parade.  Although I was at an age where I found it somewhat embarrassing, I did enjoy waving at my friends and schoolmates along the way. Especially the girls.

Although the Saccharine Seventies manifested as a tarnishing patina on the silver platter of Norman Rockwell’s America, much of the shine still remained then in my hometown; even in the years before Ronald Reagan’s repolishing as the table was set again for his 1984 “Morning in America”commercial.

Ah, the power of television. What began with Elvis and his now iconic gyrating pelvis, later made Richard Milhous Nixon appear as the scowling ogre before Sir John F. Kennedy’s Camelot. Then, the next thing we knew, a former actor had become president, followed by shock and awe warfare, a stained blue dress, hanging chads, and elections predicated upon melanin and genitals.  Today, we view Reality TV political press conferences almost as exciting as productions staged by the World Wide Wrestling Federation.  Who knew?

Ironically, the film “Network” was also released in 1976.  In watching it again recently, what struck me was how well-identified were the seeds of America’s decline – even back then, more than four decades ago.   The film starred many Hollywood heavy-hitters including Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, and Ned Beatty. It was a critical and commercial success that was, in fact, nominated for ten Oscars and won four.  Twenty-four years later, the movie critic Roger Ebert likened the film to “prophecy”.

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