In The Twilight Zone

In the closing days of the administration of our current President, Barack H. Obama, it is disheartening to think about the diabolical plot to erase him. It is something about the astute resolve that is being exhibited that would allow those whom are supposed to serve the people to condone the erasure of him…with glee.

Throughout the collective popular memory known as history, we find the abhorrent nature of man so versed and saturated with vitriol expressed in times when change is most likely to have occurred against the will of the people whom have instituted it. There are times, those times, when the voice of the people seems to be ripped from our very throats. This is one of those times…one of those ages…the very dispensation.

I have often thought of the skill and talent of writing being one with definite God implications. Recently, I have reacquainted myself with the early 1960s show The Twilight Zone. As a young girl, the show scared me because of the opening imagery and music. However, working night shift has forced me to break out of ruts that people working graveyard shifts fall into:  you watch what keeps you awake. In that exploration pertaining to the mission of staying awake, I discovered the brilliance and prowess of one Mr. Rodman Edward Serling, commonly remembered as Rod Serling, host of The Twilight Zone.

Every episode Mr. Serling comes out, normally smoking a cigarette and introduces the show and what to expect. At the end of each episode is a foreboding truth or twisted wit. In the time the nation is in at present, it is to best interest to heed the wisdom of elders…and especially of experienced storytellers and Mr. Serling is no different. From 1959-1964, Mr. Serling along with his team of writers and producers gave the viewing audience a glimpse into what dystopian humanity and freakish human behavior were capable of.

One episode, I keep referencing and oft quote is from Season 2, episode 29:  The Obsolete Man. The synopsis reads as follows-

“In a future totalitarian society, a librarian is declared obsolete and is sentenced to death.”

This is episode, we see what the country has become:   a controlled and censored state. Anyone that is seen as a threat to their regime, by speech or vocation is sent to be liquidated (i.e. executed) by any means of their choosing. The librarian and the leader of the state are in a room where there librarian is to be liquidated by bomb. The librarian has chosen his death be televised in his home, and it is honored. He tricks the leader to sit on his couch, facing the nation as he reads the Bible (beginning with Psalms 23).

Unable to handle sharing this fate with him, the leader pleads to leave before the deadline of his death being midnight. The librarian obliges and releases  him just as the bomb goes off.  The leader returns to his position with the state and is declared obsolete due to disgracing the state by other state leadership. As he pleads for his life and declares his works and faithfulness  for this state, Mr. Serling is heard saying this quote in 1961:

“Any state, any entity, any ideology, that fails to recognize the worth, dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete.”

It is often the job of the writer to use such keen observations and those prophetic implications to alert when humanity is on the brink of its own demise, uncertainty and resentment to empathy. This time is no different. We, the people, indeed, are in a resistance. The best weapon, lies in your throat.

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