Monday, December 20, 2010

Approaching the Zone at Twilight

Have you ever held the Moon? Even touched it? This tree did, as twilight turned to dusk -- or dusk turned to twilight. Which is it?

The merry-go-round is life itself

It is no secret that I think cable television is ninety percent garbage television and an excellent example of how big government and big business form a monopolistic partnership to rip off the so-called huddled masses.

But, one of the few saving graces of cable television is that it serves as a time tunnel of sorts to programs and films from the past. Some of them -- many of them, come to think of it -- are excellent and, often, are beneficial, worthwhile entertainment which never would be seen today if it were not for cable television.

I guess you know where this is leading. A few nights ago, I watched an episode of "Twilight Zone" from 1959. It was the first year this show was on television, and the episode -- "Walking Distance" -- was among those written by the show's creator, Rod Serling. Here is an excerpt of the dialogue:

Robert Sloan: Martin.

Martin Sloan: Yes, Pop.

Robert Sloan:
You have to leave here. There's no room, there's no place. Do you understand that?

Martin Sloan:
I see that now, but I don't understand. Why not?

Robert Sloan:
I guess because we only get one chance. Maybe there's only one summer to every customer. That little boy, the one I know -- the one who belongs here -- this is his summer, just as it was yours once. Don't make him share it.

Martin Sloan:

Robert Sloan:
Martin, is it so bad where you're from?

Martin Sloan:
I thought so, Pop. I've been living on a dead run and I was tired. And one day I knew I had to come back here. I had to get on the merry-go-round and listen to a band concert. I had to stop and breathe, and close my eyes and smell, and listen.

Robert Sloan:
I guess we all want that. Maybe when you go back, Martin, you'll find that there are merry-go-rounds and band concerts where you are. Maybe you haven't been looking in the right place. You've been looking behind you, Martin. Try looking ahead.

So, now that you have read the dialogue, here is some background information about this episode. A middle-aged man, Martin Sloan, is driving cross-country when he stops his car at a gas station. He is worn-out, burned-out, depressed, disgusted and disgruntled. His thoughts are on the carefree days of his boyhood.

At the gas station, Martin is told by the attendant that his hometown, Homewood, is within "Walking Distance." He decides to go there and, when he arrives, Martin finds Homewood appears exactly as it existed when he was a boy.

As a note aside, I will mention that the actor portraying Martin is Gig Young, who was born and grew up in Minnesota. His usual role in films during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s was that of a supporting character, frequently playing the best friend of the leading man. He was a much better actor than he is generally credited as having been and, I think, his performance in "Walking Distance" demonstrates that fact.

Martin eventually encounters himself as a boy, and following him home, meets his parents. Trying to convince his parents that he is their son from the future, he succeeds only in seemingly demonstrating his insanity. Martin is asked to leave by his parents.

Martin finds his childhood self on a carousel and tries to warn his younger self to enjoy his childhood before it is too late. His advances scare young Martin, who falls off the merry-go-round and injures his leg. This causes the adult Martin to begin walking with a limp.

Martin is then confronted by his father, who now believes his story about being his middle-aged son. His father advises him that everyone has their time, and that he should look to the future rather than to the past. Martin finds himself back in his own time, walking with a new limp.

Returning to the here and now: Sometimes obvious answers to dilemmas are found in the damnedest places. It could be that after having read the background regarding the story, you might wish to read the dialogue once again and, possibly, to think about it for a minute or two or three.
Or, even watch the entire show and form your own opinion of it and its message ....


Maddalena said...

Absolutely extraordinary picture, Frammy!


Maddalena said...

ps. Especially with your comment.

Jack said...

I touched the Moon once, it was cold like a window glass.

And twice I had a dream I am playing with the Moon like with a little ball. In that dream it was warm and loving. I did not use my claws.

I like your today's post even more than this one on James Bond, Fram.

Thanks, man!

Fram Actual said...

Well, thank you, very much, Mag. It is sort of a neat shot. I am pleased that you thought the words went well with it, too.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, that sounds like something you might attempt to do, Jack. It is a long reach, though, and especially difficult with a window between you and the it.

I find it amazing that you did not use your claws in your dreams. You were not shy about using them when you and I would play. I am glad you liked this post.

Kaya said...

I have never held the moon but some day I might to hold it on my palms. Joke...

This is an amazing photograph, Fram. I love it very much. The places like this always fascinate me.

I think that TV in this country is mindless and if you watch it on regular basis you can even turn into zombie.

I have a few favorite TV programs and that is it.

Interesting post, Fram.

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, for the kind words, Kaya. The photograph did turn out pretty well, and I am glad you liked it.

I usually have one or two television programs I watch regularly, and otherwise my viewing is hit and miss. Some of the original programs on "Twilight Zone" in essence are short stories, and offer a message as well as tell a tale. I enjoy seeing them.

Jack said...

He, he, he...

There were just dreams.

I know you must remember my claws, everybody do :-) Mag knows my claws the best of all :-)

And now even Suzuki does.

He, he, he.

Fram Actual said...

Well, Jack, you should have been with me today and you could have chased some pheasants through the snow. They are bigger than pigeons, and they like to fight, so you could have had some fun. I saw eleven of them "holding a meeting" when I drove along a country road on my way to see a dentist this morning.

Always nice to have you stop by for a visit, Jack. Happy dreams.

Kaya said...

Merry Christmas to you and Happy New Year, Fram!!!

May all your dreams will come true!!! May 2011 will be the best year for you ever!!!!

My very best wishes to you and hugs from Kaya.

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, very much, Kaya. Merry Christmas, to you, as well.

I am not certain what you wish for in 2011 but, whatever it might be, I hope it will come to you and that your year brings you only happiness and contentment.

As for me, I believe that next year I will think less and do more.

Maddalena said...

And from me and from Jack Merry Christmas, too, Frammy!

And from the rest of the crew, as well!

All our best wishes and thoughts for your Christmas time and for the New Year. May it be the beautiful one for you, and the good one.

Jack, Frammy Teddy Bear, Mrs Bunny, Little Bear, Miss Mouse and me.

Fram Actual said...

I really am a wreck this evening. It is snowing again here, and I think I might stay up all night and watch the snow fall from the sky while I brood.

In the meanwhile, Merry Christmas to you and to your crew, Mag, from White Bear and from me, the once and future wanderer.

I think the coming year holds much potential, and it is up to me to choose the path that will lead me through the maze and to the place I always have been meant to be.

I think the coming year holds much potential for you, as well, and hope you, too, will find the knowledge and the wisdom to lead you through the maze and to the place you are meant to be.

Whatever, our lives are our own to mold, and I need to do a better job with mine at this point in time. Later ....

Something special ....