His talk has a truly remarkable opening:. I think a requirement that a man affix his signature to a document, reaffirming loyalty, is on one hand ludicrous — and on the other demeaning…I believe that in a democratic society a man is similarly loyal until proven disloyal. In Marshall. Serling refused to comply with a requirement of the State of California, which he believed questioned his loyalty, personal integrity, and violated his rights of free expression and presumed innocence.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. There were costs to Serling for taking this stance. For a successful writer and celebrity, foregoing the fee for a speech may seem insignificant; however it is very likely that Serling earned the enduring animosity of those in power who created and supported the loyalty oath legislation.
While Serling ends his lecture with specific reference to the American involvement in the War in Vietnam, his criticisms shed insight into twenty-first century concerns such as racism, the rights of privacy, and personal integrity, as well as the growing militarization of society. When we compare themes from vintage television programs with clauses from an international legal document we are engaged in much more than a curious categorization exercise.
The UDHR expresses values and principles that Rod Serling embraced as a writer, as a citizen of his country, and as a human being. Much of his work addresses the dangers of intolerance, prejudice, and systemic cruelty. It is not surprising that Serling used fiction, whether realist or magic-realist, in combination with real-world activism to oppose injustice and promote his political views. The creative strategy that led to the creation of The Twilight Zone was ingenious because it became more than a way to avoid interference from sponsors and network censors.
As biographer Joel Engel observes:. Many viewers and readers may be drawn to the fantastical nature of such speculative stories for their entertainment value, but some audience members will probe deeper, seeking to discover the moral core of these narratives. There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man.
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It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. These narratives originate from the fringes — those aspects of our experience that are hard to define, that are about more than one thing — and makes viewers want to keep thinking about the social challenges and moral choices facing humanity.
Ultimately, the ideals of human worth and dignity cannot only be appreciated at the legal or intellectual level — they must be embraced in our hearts and imaginations, and, as Serling demonstrates, science fiction is a frequent reminder that we must do so. The term was sometimes paraphrased to describe radio writers and producers such as Norman Corwin, Arch Oboler, and Orson Welles, whose work often addressed controversial social issues.
Of the latter group, Serling was the one to remain the longest and most involved with television, both asserting the artistic and political potential of the medium while denouncing its trivialization and excessive commercialization Sander iv. Milgram studied the willingness of study subjects to obey a researcher an authority figure to the extent that they thought they were administering potentially fatal electrical shocks to another study subject.
Boulton, Mark. Doll, Mike. Engel, Joel. Contemporary Books. Feldman, Leslie Dale. Lanham, Lexington Books. Fried, Albert.
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Oxford University Press. New York, N. Gould, Jack. Hassler, Donald M. New Boundaries in Political Science Fiction. Marshall, Jeanne.
Metress, Christopher. Milgram, Stanley. Minow, Newton N. Patten, Steven C. Sander, Gordon F. Serling, Rod. The Twilight Zone. Zen, Beringia. His first novel, Extreme Dentistry , was published in and his collection of short stories, Why I Hunt Flying Saucers and Other Fantasticals , was released in He has been twice nominated for the Canadian Aurora Award.
Hugh delivered an earlier version of this paper at the Rod Serling Conference at Ithaca College. MLA Spencer, Hugh. APA Spencer, H. Social justice from the Twilight Zone: Rod Serling as human rights activist. Dialogue is indexed by Google Scholar. Call for Submissions Visit our Call for Papers page for details. In Christ, people may truly work together as God intended when he made Eve and Adam as co-workers. A crucial aspect of relationship modeled by God himself is delegation of authority.
God delegated the naming of the animals to Adam, and the transfer of authority was genuine. The foundation of this kind of development has been in Genesis all along, though Christians have not always noticed it. In turn, working relationships make it possible to create the vast, complex array of goods and services beyond the capacity of any individual to produce.
And without the intimate relationship between a man and a woman, there are no future people to do the work God gives. Our work and our community are thoroughly intertwined gifts from God. Together they provide the means for us to be fruitful and multiply in every sense of the words.
God could have created everything imaginable and filled the earth himself. It is remarkable that God trusts us to carry out this amazing task of building on the good earth he has given us. Through our work God brings forth food and drink, products and services, knowledge and beauty, organizations and communities, growth and health, and praise and glory to himself. A word about beauty is in order. This is not surprising, since people, being in the image of God, are inherently beautiful. Christian communities do well at appreciating the beauty of music with words about Jesus. Perhaps we could do better at valuing all kinds of true beauty.
A good question to ask ourselves is whether we are working more productively and beautifully. History is full of examples of people whose Christian faith resulted in amazing accomplishments. If our work feels fruitless next to theirs, the answer lies not in self-judgment, but in hope, prayer, and growth in the company of the people of God. No matter what barriers we face—from within or without—by the power of God we can do more good than we could ever imagine.
Both are creative enterprises that give specific activities to people created in the image of the Creator. By growing things and developing culture, we are indeed fruitful.
We bring forth the resources needed to support a growing population and to increase the productivity of creation. We develop the means to fill, yet not overfill, the earth. We need not imagine that gardening and naming animals are the only tasks suitable for human beings. Work is forever rooted in God's design for human life.
It is an avenue to contribute to the common good and as a means of providing for ourselves, our families, and those we can bless with our generosity. An important though sometimes overlooked aspect of God at work in creation is the vast imagination that could create everything from exotic sea life to elephants and rhinoceroses. While theologians have created varying lists of those characteristics of God that have been given to us that bear the divine image, imagination is surely a gift from God we see at work all around us in our workspaces as well as in our homes.
Much of the work we do uses our imagination in some way. We tighten bolts on an assembly line truck and we imagine that truck out on the open road.
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We open a document on our laptop and imagine the story we're about to write. Mozart imagined a sonata and Beethoven imagined a symphony. Picasso imagined Guernica before picking up his brushes to work on that painting.
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Tesla and Edison imagined harnessing electricity, and today we have light in the darkness and myriad appliances, electronics, and equipment. Most of the jobs people hold exist because someone could imagine a job-creating product or process in the workplace. Yet imagination takes work to realize, and after imagination comes the work of bringing the product into being. Actually, in practice the imagination and the realization often occur in intertwined processes.
While it is being done, it changes as one's thoughts change. And when it's finished, it goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. Waltke, eds.