“It was never meant to be a game.”
Here we are again, making a trash heap of The Republic. This election cycle is like a rowdy family reunion, with AK-47s added, plus every destructive emotion imaginable, mostly self-righteous hysteria. Media twits babble incessantly, obviously pissed off that no one is listening to them, and violent types look for a showdown at the OK Corral, which has been reassembled outside the convention arenas.
When Rollerball, the movie, came out, I thought it was brilliantly prophetic – still do, but the 1975 (1%) Corporate scheme was far more organized and “upscale” to what has actually transpired. I’m not saying that 2016 politics are any different to the traditional state of American politics: corruption, dirty deals, fabulous lies and violence are typical throughout our “democratic” history. I grew up in Chicagoland, notorious home to Roman-style politics, which functioned not on the voter discerning who was crooked, but which politicians lived up to their obligations, despite being crooked, that is, to keep the city running. Failing to plow the streets of snow immediately was political suicide, not conniving, bribing, and bullying.
It was a practical form of government. The Lesson? Don’t waste time dithering over political hanky-panky (it’s a given in politics and government) What we forget is that the function of government is to be practical and must reflect the “Psyche” of a society; so, who are Americans TODAY?
We are a very mixed family, with matter – antimatter social agendas: this will not be a happy family reunion. There is no attitude of peaceful coexistence, realistic solutions, compromise or union. Each social group wants to pound the others into the pavement and will certainly try to do just that. Can there be any doubt that “social agendas” ought to be kept out of government, along with religious agendas?
Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn
Rollerball was invented by author William Harrison in his short story “Roller Ball Murder”
In the year 2018, violence and crime have been totally eliminated from society and given outlet in the brutal blood sport of rollerball, a high-velocity blend of football, hockey, and motor-cross racing sponsored by the multinational corporations that now control the world following the collapse of traditional politics. James Caan plays Jonathan E., the reigning superstar of rollerball, whose corporate controllers fear that Jonathan’s popularity has endowed him with too much power. They begin to pressure him according to their own ruthless set of rules, but Jonathan has rules of his own–the rules of a man determined to retain his soul in a world gone mad. As directed by Norman Jewison (who was enjoying a peak of success during the early and mid-1970s), Rollerball creates a believable society that’s been rendered passive and compliant by the homogenization of corporate dictatorships, where the control and flow of information is the only currency of any importance. It’s a world in which natural human aggressions have been sublimated and vented through the religious fervor toward rollerball and its players. –Jeff Shannon