Friday, January 14

"YOU ARE MESSING WITH THE PRIMAL FORCES OF NATURE, MR. BEALE!"

Just finished reading this news release from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service regarding its plans to encourage salmon-eating Caspian terns to migrate away from the Columbia River Basin, where they're apparently ravaging the steelhead population and, presumably, rankling the fishing industry.

It calls to mind that wonderful scene in the Academy Award winning movie Network, in which the lost-his-marbles news anchor, Howard Beale (played ever so convincingly by Peter Finch), is brought into a mahogany-paneled, darkly-lit conference room to be proselytized by the network's imperious Chaiman of the Board (played wonderfully by Ned Beatty) in an effort to restore sanity and clear thinking in the wayward newscaster, who had tipped his viewers on a large, controversial deal that the Chairman was finalizing. Beale is seated at one end of the football field long table, while Beatty's character, replete in three-piece, pinstriped suit stands at the other end. Beatty, in a deep, resonating voice that Moses would have envied, opens with:

YOU ARE MESSING WITH THE PRIMAL FORCES OF NATURE, MR. BEALE!