Sadly, Patrick McGoohan died on this day - January 13th - in 2009. A movie and television actor, it was McGoohan's role (as creator, sometimes writer and director, and actor) in "The Prisoner" series that influenced the course of my life. The show took place in an oddball resort-cum-prison-camp that McGoohan described as, "a place that is trying to destroy the individual by every means possible; trying to break his spirit." The series itself documents various attempts to dominate the protagonist, his efforts to escape, and generally wreak havoc on his captors. In the end it becomes apparent - to some - that the adversary Number 6 is battling is his own self. Many of the ideas examined in The Prisoner reappear decades later in Fight Club.
In a 1977 interview McGoohan commented that, "we're run by the Pentagon, we're run by Madison Avenue, we're run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don't revolt we'll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche…"
Asked where we (plain old folk) become involved in being 'unfree' McGoohan replied, "Buying the product, to excess. As long as we go out and buy stuff, we're at their mercy. We're at the mercy of the advertiser and of course there are certain things that we need, but a lot of the stuff that is bought is not needed…"
And finally, he reminded, "we all live in a little Village… Your village may be different from other people's villages but we are all prisoners."