Act Twenty Six – Delhi Pollution: I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!

I wanted to write something about New Delhi’s toxic air today.

For the past one week, poisonous fumes have engulfed India’s capital New Delhi and its surrounding areas. Thick toxic smog has made it virtually impossible for us to breathe outdoors. Some of the symptoms include widespread irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, even in healthy people.

The situation has gotten so bad that the doctors in the capital have urged the suffering citizens to avoid going outside as much as possible. Schools have been closed. Many offices are shut down. Cricket matches are getting cancelled. The entire city has come to a virtual standstill.

The day is finally here. Clean air has become a novelty. I deserve much better than this! I am angry as hell. We all are. But nothing encapsulates my anger – our anger – better than this epic monologue from the 1976 classic “Network”.

We are all mad as hell and we are not going to take this anymore! Here it is:

I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is: ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’

Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get MAD! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. (shouting) You’ve got to say: ‘I’m a human being, god-dammit! My life has value!’

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. 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 gonna take this anymore!’

I want you to get up right now. Sit up. Go to your windows. Open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!…You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first, get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!

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