A Lesson From “The Twilight Zone”

We were watching  “The Twilight Zone” marathon on Sify and saw the stopwatch episode (“A Kind of Stopwatch”) — where Patrick Thomas McNulty gets a most unusual stopwatch that can freeze time. What struck us was the scene — the black and white  office life of the early 1960s. All of the employees — each at his or her desk — each doing seemingly monotonous, repetitive tasks — only to be interrupted by the favor of a breakfast cart, with coffee and a coffee cake. The protagonist, McNulty, is the oddball — in a world where oddballs do not fit in. In his narration, Rod Serling calls McNulty “the biggest bore on Earth.” He fills the office suggestion box with all kinds of ideas — oddball ideas — that have no place in this world (but could perhaps be a fantastic product for an internet store, a half-century later). It’s like this episode is a parable (or fable) in which the stopwatch is the key to escaping this black and white world. Only the story was written by someone from this world, so the stopwatch becomes immoral (McNulty uses it to rob a bank).

But this is what really struck us: Human beings are still doing the same damn thing a half century later — the same habits, the same lifestyle patterns. Of course we have and use the our technology — the internet, email, etc  — but we use it in ways that essentially reinforce obsolete routines. For example, we all get in our cars to sit on the highway during rush hour, to go to and from offices — back and forth, nine to five. We spend hours at our desks and hours in meetings. When we should be harnassing our ideas and dreams, like so many McNultys, using current technology to build internet businesses instead of filling suggestion boxes.

(original content by Rich Dog Millionaire.com)

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