This month, I’m nourishing myself on a diet of Rod Serling’s creations.
I tend to do that with my favorite authors once in a while. Poe, Dickens, Tennessee Williams. Their art has given me places to go where I couldn’t travel to and often reflect philosophies and imaginings that are rare to share within the borders of our modern cultural/creative wasteland. One can even say I adore their spirits even though they are long passed.
Rod presented both sides of many issues with equal sophistication and legitimacy for both.
There weren’t the obvious dropping of clues to which side was “right”. There was not that ‘handholding’ of the audience as there is now. He had more respect for his human sibling than to do otherwise.
The “bad” guy wasn’t always outfitted with evil mannerisms and/or doltish missteps. Neither were there always gleaming halos affixed to the ‘good’ guys.
No matter where he may have sided IRL, he had poetic respect for the collective nature of man. It was best experienced in the dialogue of many of his scripts.
His was a skill barely present in the modern artist’s abilities ; respect and understanding for others who don’t think exactly as we each think.
Despite our advances and the tools by which we could have nurtured such ability, it seems as if we’ve regressed into an infantile stubbornness in the allowances over differences of opinions.
It is a fact that gives me the only comfort when realizing the man is no longer with us. As an artist, he held a good measure of faith on the potential of man. However, if he were here, I’ve no doubt the general state of affairs-how we regard each other, how we are mostly gossipers vs. thinkers, our juvenile and often ugly selfishness-would have dismayed him to the point of this life feeling eerily like one of the sci-fi nightmares that he crafted so well for “The Twilight Zone”.
A warm, thick slice of peach cobbler. Within my diet of revisiting Mr. Serling’s life and work, that’s what his final interview represents for me.
Here’s hoping it reaches young hopefuls throughout time. If only to keep the golden chins up of future gifted youth who find themselves chained to an even more madly spinning wheel of low rent intellectual standards.
And bless you, Mr. Sterling..wherever and whichever porch of The Zone you found yourself rocking upon.
feature photo by Christine Lyons