Tonight I watched the 23 December 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone, “The Night of the Meek.” It stars Art Carney as Henry Corwin, a man driven to booze by a world that doesn’t care about them that’re supposed to inherit it. It is a very sentimental crying fest of a movie. And I tend to hate such things. But there are times when this is exactly what you want.
There is a very close connection to sentimentality and bitterness. I often think that people who read this blog must think I am a very bitter person, but this isn’t the case at all. I’m more like Henry Corwin: I dream, I wish, I hope. But what we want is not what most people think.
I’m reminded (because digby posted it again this morning) of the video of the man with Parkinson’s Disease protesting in favor of the ACA. There were many Tea Party protesters standing above him (the man was sitting on the ground) shouting at him and dropping dollar bills on him. But he just sat there emotionless. It’s a great example of people at their best (the Parkinson’s sufferer) and their worst (the three Tea Party shouters). All the man wanted was to be treated for the disease he was unjustly given. It wasn’t that much to ask.
Henry and I are the same. We aren’t asking for the rich to not be rich. We aren’t asking for an end to all violence or for everyone to always smile like Bill Mumy in “It’s a Good Life.” We just want people to be able to get by and not have bombs dropped on them. That’s not asking so much.
But I can see that people might mistake it for bitterness—specially if they already feel guilty.
Update (Right Away)