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The Twilight Zone:

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I have to be honest I didn’t think I would enjoy watching this as much as I did. I loved it and plan to watch more episodes in the NetNarr library. Perfect time to binge watch if you ask me. I’ve heard of The Twilight Zone series before this class being that I’m a pop culture junkie. Also I’m sure we have all heard someone say when something eerie or strange was happening to them: “Wow I feel like I’m in the twilight zone.” It has a huge cult like following even now decades after the series ended. I can see why, it’s hard to stop watching, I was hooked! I randomly chose this episode after doing a quick scan of the list. It’s ironic that I decided on this particular episode because it reflects some of what we are all experiencing today with the pandemic. Isolation, loneliness and what it really means to be ALONE. Ok so a synopsis of the episode for those of you who haven’t seen it: Poor Henry Bemis! He is adorable first off. Secondly I can’t believe how awful and mean his wife is to him! What she did to his poetry book, crossing out the words then ripping all the pages?! How rude! She reminded me of the scary lady who played the wicked witch in Wizard of Oz. It was interesting to see the role reversal though. This took place in the 60’s and in this case the typical submissive housewife was portrayed as more domineering and controlling towards her feeble husband. Ok moving on, so poor little Henry was a bookworm who worked at the bank. He loved to read and liked to discuss his books with his customers but it was interfering with his duties and he was reprimanded by his boss. And at home he couldn’t read in peace because his wife was really mean and scolded him if he did so. So what is poor Henry Bemis to do?! Well he decides to go eat his lunch in the bank vault with his favorite book of the day so he can read in peace and privacy. At last! But while in the vault he picks up a newspaper and reads the headline that says: “H Bomb Capable of Total Destruction.” This reminds me of the scary headlines we see today. Instead of just newspapers, the misinformation about the pandemic has spread like wildfire throughout social media and the internet and news broadcasts. As he finishes reading the paper an enormous explosion outside the bank violently shakes the vault knocking Henry unconscious. Oh no! He can’t catch a reading break to save his life.

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He wakes up and finds his thick coke bottle glasses which he needs in order to see and read. He quickly puts them on and walks outside to find the world has been completely demolished and destroyed, total silence surrounds him. Everyone else is dead but the vault saved him. The scene of him emerging outside and seeing what looks like a post apocalyptic world with total devastation and destruction surrounding him also reminds me of what we are all facing today, except in our case we can’t even go outside. Ultimately Henry realizes he has enough food to sustain him but he feels totally isolated and alone. He contemplates suicide until he sees a old library full of books. He excitedly starts to organize and pile up the books into neat piles preparing for the years ahead. He seems to be in total paradise now with an unlimited amount of time to do what he loved most: READ! Yay Bemis I shouted at the screen! But wait no, sadly he drops his glasses and they shatter. Oh no poor Henry can’t see! Thus the episode ends in a sad ironic twist of fate, that although he has all this free time to do what he loves most, he can no longer see so reading is impossible and now useless. This also in a way reminds me of all the free time I find myself with now. By staying home I thought I would indulge in a lot of my favorite pastimes which I had no time for before all this. But I still feel super isolated so it’s not as fun as I had imagined it to be. My once favorite pastimes are not so fun anymore. Ultimately this episode touched on some important social issues like anti intellectualism, the dangers of relying on technology and the biggest lesson learned is the difference between aloneness (solitude) and loneliness. I wanted to make sure to give a full synopsis for those of you who haven’t seen the episode. But since we all have time to kill I strongly suggest watching The Twilight Zone! Totally trippy, a give it a total thumbs up. Xo

I found this interesting clip from The Joe Rogan podcast with Edward Snowden! I may not agree with the ways in which Snowden conducted his business and put the U.S. at risk but he does have some good points and interesting things to say about surveillance capitalism and how we are being tracked daily! Take a listen and hope you enjoy it! Take care guys! See ya tomorrow! Be well. Xo.

2 replies on “The Twilight Zone:”

I’m a serious Twilight Zone fan and of its creator Rod Serling (I watched a lot of these on TV as a kid) and you picked one of my all time favorites. There is a large amount of karma dished out there, and often, like for Henry Bemis, cruelly unfair. There’s not quite a surveillance angle in this, but maybe one could be imagined for a world/time when book reading is considered frivolous and monitored?

And yes, you are spot on for connecting this to our current state of isololation.

Or maybe there is something to a last person on earth tale. I always enjoyed the idea of a story being told in just 2 sentences; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knock_(short_story)

There was so much social commentary written n between the lines of the Twilight Zone, about the best vehicle to do this in the 1960s era it was produced.

The apps are particularly dangerous as Snowden suggests. Mapping you, mapping me: surveillHell. Great blog Nives. Very poignant ending to Twilight Zone episode. What is extremely interesting is that while your phone is on, data can be hacked and used to mime you when your phone is actually off. The left SIM hip bone is connected to the right SIM leg bone. FB quizzes are the worst. Big data collectors sell to our info to others. Internet Bill of Rights, let’s get cracking! There are going to be problems b/c f the borderless nature of the Internet. So we’d have to have signatories to a treaty of some kind. He’s right about T&C’s. There are definitely clauses that say we can change the law when we feel like it. That is b.s., we need to lobby against this. The 3rd party doctrine is important – the creeper case he talks about. 4th Am is problematic in that it says you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in yourself, your home & your papers. Papers should be extended to your electronic contracts and connections. We need to do better. Case law is difficult though. It takes years for cases to accrete and we need action now, pronto. See what happens is that “reasonable expectation of privacy” gets construed in various ways and even if we end up getting a good result for privacy, it takes yearrrrs. Years for things to get to the USSC level. There is no automatic right of appeal to the Supreme Court. SC actually takes on very little cases when appellants petition for cert. Be well! Best, Medea.

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