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I don't think "The Obsolete Man" is an endorsement of religion or God neccessarily


Instead, it's a reminder that anything you ban -- marijuana, science, wicca -- is going to become forbidden fruit and thus very, very tantalizing and a source of great strength for the oppressed.

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In a sense, you’re right. It’s just that in this particular instance, Wordsworth’s weapon against the State was free thought, which happened to embrace, in the context of the story, Christianity. What mattered most to the old librarian was the freedom to read, to choose and to believe in something contrary to the implied national doctrine. It could have been God, science, or anything you like. Wordsworth’s ultimate victory was in forcing the Chancellor to blaspheme against (or forsake) the sacred utterances of the State.

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I agree. What makes this episode works so well is that if you take out the bible and replace it with "The Great Gatsby," or remove God and replace it with science, it still works. Serling wasn't out to sell people on religion. He was out to sell people on the importance of freedom of thought -- which in this case happened to be embodied by Wordsworth's faith. A recent film, not dissimilar to this one, "V For Vendetta," had a character who prized his copy of the Koran and gushed over its prose. The State in "Vendetta" had made such literature verboten, thus drawing to it freethinkers. Again, like "Obsolete," "Vendetta" isn't an infomercial for Islam -- it's a celebration of individuality and the right to read and be what you want.

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The Great Gasby is a really good book.

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It only improves with age.

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You absolutely could not take out the Bible and replace it with "The Great Gatsby" and the episode still work. The power words of the Bible that Wordsworth reads is part of what makes the episode great. Also the episode is a play on the saying "there are no atheists in foxholes." The Chancellor wouldn't have been doing anything against the state if he had said, "In the name of Gatsby let me out." Gatsby doesn't have any true power. God has all the power. It was God's power that the state was trying to silence. I would say you are not getting the true meaning of the episode if you don't believe in God. But that's the case with many episodes.

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I respectfully disagree. Serling was a progressive. If he wrote "The Obsolete Man" today Wordsworth might be a Muslim, or a Buddhist, or a Wiccan. A modern Chancellor might be more apt to say something like "In the name of Allah let me out." Serling used Christianity because TV audiences at the time were mostly Christian and knew only too well about atheist regimes like Stalin's and their propensity for targeting people of faith. Serling kept up with the news and tailored his stories accordingly. Considering how marijuana is still banned at a federal level and some Christian-owned bakeries refuse to bake cakes for gay couples Serling -- who was a big proponent of racial equality and other then controversial issues -- might have used "The Obsolete Man," in 2018, to confront gay marriage or pot growing. Can you imagine: Wordsworth a pot grower, or a gay man? "In the name of bud let me out," in a 2018 "Obsolete Man?"

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"Serling -- who was a big proponent of racial equality and other then controversial issues -- might have used "The Obsolete Man," in 2018, to confront gay marriage or pot growing."

** I'm an agnostic, but I see the story as only working with religion. While many might be dismayed if their pot was taken away from them, Wadsworth would find comfort in the words of the bible even if the bible is a fictional book. Faith, even if the source of it is internal, is very powerful and has been a reason people have died for their cause and done so willingly and peacefully.

"Can you imagine: Wordsworth a pot grower, or a gay man? 'In the name of bud let me out,' in a 2018 'Obsolete Man?' "

** Yes, but I can't imagine the story working with Wadsworth being a gay man or pot head.

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Serling would have HATED someone calling him a "progressive." He would have hated identity politics, seen right through it as a new form of bigotry. Serling was a REAL liberal. Yes, he would have supported any movement to see that people were treated with dignity, but he wouldn't have followed the neo-left into the grave its currently digging itself.

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That makes a lot more sense. The one defining trait of all Progressives is their view of man as a cog in a machine. He does not exist for himself but rather as a means, to be used, sacrificed, for a utopian vision of the greater good.

A Progressive would ask what good is it for you to speak freely if you are going to speak wrongly. Obsolete indeed, hence eugenics. This episode seems like a blistering attack on that. No wonder Alex Jones plays the audio on Inforwars all the time. Dignity is right.

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Originally a religious movement, Progressives at the time were usually very strongly anti-religion, hence the persecution of religion under “scientific socialism”. I don’t know anything about Sterling, but picking Christianity seems populist, a large part of most peoples’ lives. Lenin was more anti-religion (except Judaism) than Stalin, so maybe by this time some of them had chilled out.

But picking a lesbian who couldn’t buy a cake from a cake baker? That’s not profound. That’s a crying baby demanding social privilege. It’s the baker who is being deprived of his liberty, not the lesbian who is being deprived of a cake. The marijuana issue seems like a stretch also since everyone still does it. Remember, it was again the Progressives who banned alcohol, and fueled an industry of high proof spirits. You also mentioned the Quran being banned in V for Vendetta. In reality, England has hate speech laws. You go to jail for criticizing Islam.

All your examples are stiflingly politically correct. Notice what you didn’t pick. Gun control, self defense. Anti-vaccination. Homeschooling. Heck, raw milk. I think the free speech issue is what makes this episode so prescient, and today it’s all these so called victim groups empowered to take it away. Aren’t we here right now because IMDb shut down?

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