Favorite TV Shows: the 1950s: The Twilight Zone

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I had engaged recently in a conversation in which TV shows were discussed. Afterwards, I was thinking that I consider the 1950s and the 1960s to have been the era which produced the best television shows.

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I am not claiming that the special effects were good or that the shows were slick in any way.  In some cases that I will mention, the acting was not the finest, but, and this is my point, the writing was extraordinary.

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I will mention one show per post and will cover more in the not too distant future.  In all cases, I am referring primarily to the writing, the story-telling, and the themes of the shows. First is The Twilight Zone, which ran from 1959-1964 and dealt with the moral, ethical, and social problems of the time.  Certainly, this show is memorable for the famous actors who appeared at different times, but it is still the writing with which I am the most interested.

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The one episode, in particular, that I argue is among the best writing of all time for TV is “Death’s-Head Revisited.”  In this episode, a former concentration camp captain visits Dachau after the war.  There the ghosts of his victims take vengeance on him.  Serling wrote a riveting epilogue in which he says, “All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes – all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers. Something to dwell on and to remember, not only in the Twilight Zone but wherever men walk God’s Earth” (The Twilight Zone.) This is one of Serling’s best moments in writing.

This is one of the most powerful moments ever shown on Television, and it is one of the most extraordinary statements on the worst evil ever committed by human beings to other human beings.  We must never forget  the horror of the Holocaust.

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Citations:

Serling, Rod. The Twilight Zone. “Death’s-Head Revisited” 1961.

About the 2015 Writers Digest Conference!

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I spent the weekend attending the 2015 Writers Digest Conference in New York City, and it was an extraordinary experience.  This was the second year in a row in which I went to it, and I plan on returning again next year. The conference, which ran Friday through Sunday, was full of sessions that covered issues of craft, details of writing query letters, inside information on the publishing world, the scoop on self-publishing, how to promote a book, and agent pitch slams, among many others important panels.

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I filled a legal tablet with notes from the conference.  Yes, while many people were taking pics of the slide shows, I was scribbling away in the old-fashioned manner–using pen and paper!  I have committed to being a hybrid writer–attempting to publish traditionally and through self-publishing.  Because of what I learned at this conference, I realize that I have much to learn about the business of publishing as well as the art and craft of writing; I am throwing myself into learning as much as I can about the business aspect as possible.

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I was impressed and delighted by the gracious and welcoming nature of several of the writers who gave talks and presentations.  I was able to speak with Jonathan Maberry, Kristen Harnisch, and G.P. Ching after panel sessions, and they were all willing to share advice with a newcomer.   I want to thank and recommend them as authors and as good people.

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Jonathan Maberry, Best Selling Author, To Speak at Closing Session of Social Media Conference

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I came away from the conference filled with information and determination to continue to learn and grow as a writer and as a business owner (at least in the future!).   One belief I hold that is essential to being a writer was reinforced there–persistence, discipline, and dedication are essential to finding success as a writer. I will post pics from the conference in the not too distant future.  I still took them the old-fashioned way and have to get the film developed.  I am slowly making my way into the 21st Century!

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To any writers reading this, plan to attend writers conferences if you can.  I have found them to be very valuable places to learn about the craft and the business.

Happy writing!

Albums That Changed Your View of Music

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I have been a bit behind in responding to some challenges, so I will try to catch up now.  I was tagged to do this challenge by Trish of http://threehandsoneheart.com/

Here are the rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Sixteen albums you’ve heard that changed the way you thought about music…if you are too young to have owned albums you can surely chose songs.  List the first sixteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag two friends, or more if you have the time.

Here are my answers in random order, and some are the music but not a particular album:

Creedence Clearwater Revival  Chronicle

Johnny Cash Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

Beethoven The Ninth Symphony

Beethoven “Fur Elise”

Beethoven The Fifth Symphony

Miles Davis “Harlem Nocturne”

Ben E. King “Stand By Me.”

Mozart “Eine Kleine NachtMusik”

The Who Tommy

Bob Seger Greatest Hits

Kris Kristofferson “To Beat the Devil”

Kris Kristofferson “Me and Bobby McGee’

Bruce Springsteen Born To Run

Charlie Parker Best of Charlie Parker

Seamus Kennedy In Concert

Coven “One Tin Soldier”

Here are my taggees:

Running After 50  https://usabaker.wordpress.com/

Latha https://poonamallee.wordpress.com/

Marc https://mavtheauthor.wordpress.com

Have fun!

Home again!

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Hi all, this will be a relatively small post today.  I just arrived back home after attending the 2015 Writers Digest Conference this weekend.  I had a great time at the conference, and I learned much during the various sessions.

I missed my wife enormously, because we were not able to travel to the conference together.  I have a great deal to talk about and share with you, and I will do that soon in a series of posts.

Right now, though–I am exhausted.  So, more in future posts!

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