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stepping into the twilight zone
the science fictionalization of the american mind set
by robert a. melos
pop culture

Youre old, useless; a drain on the obviously limited resources of society, and it is your duty to your fellow human beings to ensure their survival by sacrificing yourself for the greater good. In other words, you must die. According to some republicans and healthcare lobbyists, and rich corporate CEOs getting unhealthily fat off the profits fed to them by the ignorant masses who believe in the practices of western medicine, this is the purported outcome of any healthcare reform conceived by democrats in general and President Obama in particular.

In a recent blog former Miss Melting Tundra, um, the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, unwittingly described an episode of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone in which man must go before a court to prove his usefulness to society or be judged obsolete. What she was blogging about was the misguided notion that by having Medicare pay for the consultation with your doctor for the purposes of a Living Will the government was encouraging euthanasia of the elderly and those who were not productive members of society. What came across was the image of Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode entitled The Obsolete Man.

Now I'm sure Palin didn't mean to conjure up the image of the very talented late actor, or of the award winning television series engrained in our pop culture mentality, but for myself and for many pop culture fanatics the former beauty queen turned politician turned irrelevant obsolete and useless by her own resignation from office did just that. In fact not only did she redirect my thinking about healthcare in any serious form, but many of the opponents of healthcare have had the same effect on me causing me to imagine future worlds where evil corporate CEOs run everything and the lives of the general public are dominated by the constant struggle to look like everyone else or fit into society instead of just standing around like a mannequin waiting to get a chance to break free from the bonds holding you in your department store window.

Sorry. I digress and gave you a run on sentence. See the detrimental effects of irrelevant former politicians? Of course she might be able to redeem herself, to win a reprieve from the judgment of obsolescence if she were to get a job doing something useful for society. Interestingly enough I was having this very discussion with a friend last week, before Palin brought forth images in my mind of the late great Rod Serling.

During that discussion my friend suggested that the only way he could see for Palin to contribute to society was to become a pole dancer. His argument being that stripping was an honest form of work, and he would give her at least one dollar to shimmy at him in a scanty outfit.

I seem to have drifted into a Blade Runner like world of pretty women who seem to be unfeeling robots. I'm afraid the argument against healthcare reform is working on me, but then I've always felt healthcare should be something you pay $10 for and can get a cure for the common cold or a hip replacement, all for that flat fee, and that doctors should work for a government stipend because they take the Hippocratic Oath and there should be no price on good health.

I know I have an altruistic view of what the medical industry should be, which is probably why I never chose to go into the healthcare field.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Why do republicans hate the elderly?

What's that? You say they don't hate the elderly? Then why do they constantly talk about killing them? Could it be that we are headed for a future society where only the rich get to live beyond 30 and the rest of society will go to be turned into food ala Logan's Run or Soylent Green?

It seems to me the scare tactics of the politics has proven the world is an evil place and man's inhumanity to man is prevalent. While some are fighting for a brave new world where insurance will pay to keep us drugged up on psychotropics and other mind altering substances, some are fighting for the corporate controlled worlds where big business controls our lives in the Metropolis and a pretty robot can cause us to riot against the very things that could help us.

The debate over healthcare has been sidetracked by the diversion into the realm of the evil corporate empire ruled by the likes of Darth Cheney and nameless minions who struggle to hold on to an obsolete way of life that should be put to death in order for our society to move forward and concentrate on the important acts of turning the world into a utopia. Honestly, with all the bickering and lying, and misinformation it makes a guy want to build a nuclear sub and hideout at an island at the top of the world until man blows himself off the planet and leaves it for the apes to repopulate.


Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos


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topic: pop culture
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by robert a. melos
topic: pop culture
published: 7.15.09


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