I Am Not A Number, I am a Free Man!

AMC is bringing back the best tv show ever (granting it some leeway for its time), The Prisoner, for a six hour miniseries.

The Prisoner 1967 - Patrick McGoohan. Photo credit: thefastertimes.com

AMC is bringing back the best tv show ever (granting it some leeway for its time), The Prisoner, for a six hour miniseries. It’s coming up on November 15, and with this and Mad Men, I’m going to have to start to remember where AMC is located on my cable service.

Here is a very sharp and entertaining bit of cultural criticism that sees the initial impulse of the 1960s show that inspired everything from electronica bands to cyberpunk authors as having been associated with the hippie counterculture, but finds that now the "poles have flipped." The individualist paranoia of the ’60s hippest show may now be associated with John Galt and (gulp) Glenn Beck:

Jim Rover - The Prisoner Premier - Photo credit: thefastertimes.com

"Re-viewing The Prisoner, I didn’t feel as though I were looking back into the 60’s so much as I was looking at today reflected in a funhouse mirror. The Prisoner’s schizoid vision of a world split between mad institutions, which destroy freedom and corrode the spirit, and a few raging and alienated holdouts still speaks to the zeitgeist — but the political poles have flipped since 1967. The pot-smoking, radical hippie has been replaced by the gun-toting, reactionary tea bagger; in place of the Stalinist aphorisms of Mao’s Red Book, we have Manifest Destiny redux in The 5,000 Year Leap, a.k.a. Glenn Beck’s Red Book. Unlike the older generation, today’s rebel dropouts are not inspired by the spiritual restlessness of Hesse’s Siddhartha or Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge. Their motives are economic and punitively moralistic, and their model is John Galt, the libertarian hero of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Seething with resentment that the fruits of their honest labor are used — via the tyranny of taxation — to subsidize their less deserving fellow citizens, they fantasize about dropping out of the system, or in their patois ‘going Galt.’ "

The Faster Times Article

Leave a Reply