Thursday, 5 May 2011
The Twilight Zone ("The Obsolete Man", 1961)
Meredith's quietly brilliant performance (half Kansas farmer, half pious everyman) complements some sharp writing in an otherwise hokey script. In his strangely compelling judgement, a servant of the State condemns the librarian as 'a dealer in books and two-cent fines and pamphlets and closed stacks and the musty insides of a language factory that spews out meaningless words on an assembly line; words... that have no substance, no dimension, like air, like the wind, like a vacuum that you make believe has an existence by scribbling index numbers on little cards.' This librarian-hater is himself condemned at the episode's end; torn to pieces by some overzealous citizens who look like demented escapees from a Broadway dance troupe. A lesson to enemies of the library everywhere.