Monday, July 4, 2011

Romney Wordsworth, obsolete

The state has declared Romney Wordsworth obsolete. The Chancellor speaks:

“You’re a librarian, Mister Wordsworth. You’re 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, Mister Wordsworth, that have no substance and no dimension, like air, like the wind, like a vacuum that you make-believe has an existence by scribbling index numbers on little cards.”

From “The Obsolete Man,” a Twilight Zone episode first broadcast June 2, 1961. With Burgess Meredith (Romney Wordsworth) and Fritz Weaver (The Chancellor).
Fifty years ago, a world without librarians and libraries was the stuff of a totalitarian nightmare. Now it seems that we’re closer to living in The Twilight Zone. One recent New York Times headline: Schools Eliminating Librarians as Budgets Shrink.

You can watch the episode, in three parts, at YouTube.

A related post
Cutting libraries in a recession is like …

[I caught, by chance, a single episode of a Twilight Zone holiday marathon on the SyFy Channel. Yes, Rod Serling imagined a future sans Internet. And yes, I recognize the irony of relying on the IMDb and YouTube and not the library.]

comments: 2

Gunther said...

Thank you for bringing that episode to my attention. I haven't seen only very few episodes of "The Twilight Zone", and that one was new to me. It is excellent and very eerie, and I hope that we'll never see that in reality. – Time to dig up my copy of "The Twilight Zone Companion" ...

Michael Leddy said...

It was new to me too. Late last night, we saw “Night of the Meek,” with Art Carney as an alcoholic Santa Claus. Highly recommended!