Essay:Karajou's "The Obsolete Man"

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Karajou's Analysis of "The Obsolete Man"


On June 2, 1961, CBS television broadcast "The Obsolete Man", an episode of its anthology series The Twilight Zone. According to the story, Romney Wadsworth[sic] has got just 48 hours to live, having been condemned by a tyrannical government for being "obsolete". His crime was his profession, that of a librarian.

Fairly accurate, although his crimes are both being a librarian and being religious. Books are banned in this totalitarian state. Oh, and his name is Wordsworth...get it? It's IRONY.

It's an illustration here in the United States with regard to certain freedoms. According to the Constitution, we are endowed with the rights to assemble; to worship God as we choose; to speak freely; to petition for redress; to bear arms for protection of our persons and property; and many others. And throughout its history, there were those who stepped out and sought to deny those freedoms, doing it by force of arms, or by repeated vilification with the help of the printed word.

The Constitution does not mention us as being "endowed" with any rights...the Declaration of Independence, however, does, and "that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

The rights mentioned in the Bill of Rights are not mentioned as a gift of the Creator, but are enumerated in law. Constitutional rights theory, at the time of the founding, in fact did not reference God-given rights, but referred to "natural rights" deserved by man, just by being human: they were not owed by God, but given by man out of respect for humanity (early humanism). See, e.g., Calder v. Bull.

The rights of assembly, worship (although that word is not used), speech, and petition for redress are enumerated in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

A right to "bear arms for the protection of our persons and property" is nowhere enumerated. The Second Amendment does guarantee a right to arm to protect a "free state". The actual meaning of the Framers makes for an interesting and healthy debate.

In Conservapedia, we are excercising that right to a free press and speech in accordance with the First Amendment, but unfortunately there are those who don't like it. They wish to silence us by any means possible, whether it's through vandalizing the articles, or uploading foul and objectionable content, or trying through the public eye to remove us from the internet. Who are these people?

In other words, the theory of countering speech with speech, i.e., posting non-approved content on Conservapedia, somehow impedes their right to free speech. Hey, buddy, if someone writes something you don't like, add a rebuttal. And if you don't like hearing dissent, close your site to all but a couple of editors. Wait, it's 10pm, you already did. "Who are these people?" Well, you know many of them by name, email address, etc., and most have offered to dialog, so it's really no mystery there.

They are like that tyrannical government portrayed in "The Obsolete Man". They wish to force their way of thinking upon us, as they did with Wadsworth. They can not stand the fact that we have a different opinion then they have, and more often than not, a correct one. They have made note of the fact that they cannot stand Christianity or Judaism, which is replete in these pages, and have tried to alter the articles concerned with either a secular viewpoint, or a despicable one. The last book Wadsworth read in that episode was a Bible, banned in "The Obsolete Man" then, and condemned by our critics today.

"They" presumably means those who have tried to add factual content to CP, or to at least engage in debate, most of which have been forbidden from speaking on the site.

The analogy to The State in the Obsolete Man is absurd. The State was modeled on totalitarian regimes, specifically Naziism, and to a lesser extent Stalinism.

The rest of the rant in this paragraph is difficult to parse, as it is a bit rabid. There really is no clear anti Christian or anti Jewish pattern to the edits made by "non-approved" editors at CP. A review of the largest edit conflicts shows that they are not about religion at all, but about science, such as the debate about Creationism, Evolution, and the "link" between breast cancer and abortion. These debates were shut down by banning those who disagreed with The Chancellor Mr. Schlafly, limiting their ability to counter speech with speech. However, they do not complain that this infringes on their First Amendment rights, as only the State can do that, not a private website. So, even if the actions of some at CP are objectionable, they are not a violation of anyone's rights.

A final note: the right to free speech includes the right to free, responsible speech. Free speech is circumscribed by reasonable limits of law, just like all rights. There's a good case to make that Conservapedia is not responsible speech, in that it indoctrinates children in a fairly vile philosophy of hate and closed-mindedness, against almost everything that the Enlightenment, and by extension America, stand for.

Again, who are these people? Separate yourselves from the internet today, and walk the streets, scan the newspapers, watch the television. Just what do you see?

  1. They are the ones forcing the removal of Nativity scenes from the fronts of fire stations.
  2. They are the ones suing to remove public displays of the Ten Commandments, or preventing a politcian from swearing an oath of office on a Bible.
  3. They are the ones crying for the removal of guns from the homes, but not the removal of the criminals who use them.
  4. They are the ones who claim to support the troops in time of war, but demand that funds for them be removed.
  5. They are the ones who demand the right to kill an unborn child, yet call the execution of a convicted murderer "against life".
  6. They are the ones who would take away someone's property because the life of a deer or raccoon is more important.
  7. They are the ones who scream about protecting the environment, even as they drive their own vehicles which contribute to the pollution.

They are all of us.

They are the people who have read the clear language of the "American Scriptures", as this piece's author clearly hasn't.

  1. Someone missed out on reading the Establishment Clause (not to be confused with the Santa Claus)
  2. Same thing
  3. Weird statement. I don't know anyone who doesn't want gun criminals removedflogged jailed.
  4. Remove funds for troops? Not quite, buddy. Liberals were the ones who didn't want to place the troops in harm's way in the first place, and second of all, didn't want them in harms way without body armor. Ask yourself who really supports the troops: not the ones who send them to a losing war, that's for sure. And objecting to a war is a free speech thing, guaranteed by our Creator the First Amendment.
  5. Abortion and capital punishment are legitimate debates in our society, and to try to shut them down is probably a very bad idea. As an additional note, if you are against abortion, you should probably consider opposing capital punishment.
  6. I have no idea what Rocky or Bambi have to do with property rights. Lost me there. I have lots of both on my property, they drive me crazy, and if I want to snuff them, no one is going to ticket me.
  7. That's a damn good point. It's good to avoid hypocrisy. SUVs suck, if you don't live in the country or on a mountain. Also, auto companies can improve the fuel efficiency of trucks even...good ole American know-how.

They are liberals, bastions of tolerance and freedom, so they claim, but in practice they are not. And they would like to shut Conservapedia down. Should that happen, should such people be in the positions of power which they crave, we will be just like Romney Wadsworth[sic] in "The Obsolete Man", calmly walking the last mile, with a Bible in hand...unless of course, it is their desire to take that away as well.

I am sure you are right about there being some people who wish to shut down CP, although most would like it to stick around for shits and giggles. Wordsworth fought for freedom to read, to worship, to avoid state oppression. CP fights against freedom of ideas, freedom from worship (that other part of the Establishment Clause), and seemingly would like to see a theocracy in the U.S.