Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for...


I'm participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge where for the month of April I will blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays. The participation list is HERE -- if you want to join in.

Image result for twilight zone quotesMy theme – This month I am blogging about a classic television series, The Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling where ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and suspense, often concluding with an unexpected twist. 


     O is for Obsolete Man      

Twilight Zone: 
Season 2, Episode 29
The Obsolete Man (2 Jun. 1961) 
In a futuristic totalitarian world, meek and mild-mannered librarian Romney Wordsworth (Burgess Meredith) finds himself on trial for the crime of being obsolete. This future society has decided on everything people need to know. There is no God and there are no books. Society doesn't need librarians. His occupation as a librarian is a crime punishable by death as the State has eliminated books and literature. He believes in God, a crime also punishable by death. Romney makes an impassioned plea about his rights and free will but the judge in the case the Chancellor, will have nothing of it. The jury finds Romney obsolete and orders him to be executed. As he can choose the method of his death, Romney's plans include a little surprise for the Chancellor. Watch the full episode HERE.

I find many of the Twilight Zone episodes chilling, but this one sends chills up my spine for all the wrong reasons. A world where there are no books or God isn't a world I hope never comes to fruition. Edmund Burke said, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." It is pretty clear that this episode was meant to highlight the dangers of totalitarianism. I also believe this episode is meant to put emphasis on the importance of art, philosophy, literature, freedom of religion, and free speech in a society (all of which are taken away by the state in the episode). Wordsworth compares the Chancellor to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, and asks "History teaches you nothing, does it?" The chancellor's reply is "On the contrary, history teaches us a great deal." The chancellor then argues that Hitler and Stalin had the right idea, but that their mistake was that they did not push their merciless agenda far enough. Let's hope this ideology stays where it belongs, in The Twilight Zone. 

How would you feel living in a world where books and God are obsolete? Do you think not knowing our history allows us to repeat it? 




21 comments:

Delores said...

I enjoyed the Twilight Zone...tried to never miss an episode. How would I feel about a world devoid of God, books and free choice? I'd think maybe it's time to get a ride on that shuttle to Mars lol.
Thanks for dropping in Under The Porch Light. Visiting here from A to Z.

Julia said...

I loved the Twilight Zone and it would make me feel uneasy watching it at night. I can't recall any episodes but I remember the feeling. I remember the theme music...

Great job on this A to Z challenge.

I love books and I love God. We can destroy books but we cannot destroy God.

JB

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

Books and freedom of religion are very important privileges and should be protected at all cost. History gives us lessons, but unfortunately history is written by the winners so sometimes those lessons are not always complete.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Susan Brody said...

I love this Challenge theme! The Twilight Zone might have been a little heavy-handed with its themes, but it got its points across. And it featured some incredible actors before they were "discovered!"

Annalisa Crawford said...

The world would be a stark place indeed, without books or personal beliefs. I think knowing our history allows us to react more quickly to problems.

Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

Debra McKellan said...

They would just have to kill me, then.

Jennifer Hawes said...

I love God and books. Yeah, that would be chilling!

Chrys Fey said...

Could you imagine that? Being a librarian is the worst kind of criminal and there are no books? That would be a nightmare!

cleemckenzie said...

This is one episode that I will never forget. Part of the reason it's so memorable is Murgess Meredith, but the other part is that final scene on the library steps!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I remember the Twilight Zone. It was one of my favorite shows.
I would not like that world.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Have a great weekend.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is scary indeed. I would not want to live in a world where I was not allowed faith.

Hart Johnson said...

I loved Twilight Zone and many are indeed chilling. This sounds very much born out of Red Scare stuff--the anti-Communism stuff. Interesting now though, that it is the other side that would like to restrict the information available to us.

Sherry Ellis said...

Cool theme! I couldn't imagine living in a world without books or no belief in something bigger than ourselves.

Sherry Ellis said...

Cool theme! I couldn't imagine living in a world without books or no belief in something bigger than ourselves.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Every time I see the the government interfering in religion or when a school district won't allow a book, I get those chills.

Nick Wilford said...

A world where you couldn't read or write isn't one that bears contemplating.

Nick Wilford said...

A world where you couldn't read or write isn't one that bears contemplating.

Jeffrey Scott said...

We wouldn't be able to blog in this society. How boring would that be?

Liz A. said...

I saw this one for the first time recently. Yep, it's chilling.

I don't think we'll ever live in a world where books or God are obsolete. It's too important to too many of us. Books may change in form, though.

Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

Clarabelle Rant said...

The concept about being on trial for being obsolete is interesting. In our world changing so quickly with technology, it doesn't seem to far fetched.

You can find me here:
ClarabelleRant

Elle G said...

What a fun theme to choose! I've actually only seen a small handful of Twilight Zone episodes, but it is definitely a piece of Americana, isn't it? Thank you so much for visiting me so that I had a chance to come check out your A to Z posts!

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