Rod Serling’s Holiday Masterpiece “Night of the Meek”


advent_december_17In case folks haven’t had a chance to see the Twilight Zone episode “Night of the Meek” it is an often overlooked holiday treasure well worth a viewing.  I’ve included the link at the end of this post to where you can watch the full episode on Hulu.  Rod serling is one of those great examples of a committed UU in so many ways.  He only started focus his writing on  Science fiction because he was frustrated by all the cuts being made to his work by network executives and sensors.  Committed to causes like civil rights, peace, and economic justice and so would try and address those subjects in his screenplays but it all got taken out or reworked because the networks were afraid of taking up controversial subjects like racism and possibly losing advertisers.  Sterling was needed in a pinch for a sci fi script and as always he used the story to engage people around their prejudice but because of the fact that it was speculative fiction about a universe that doesn’t exist or an invented idea of the future his work went to screen without editing. Where they just not seeing it through the space suits or did the higher ups just feel that the public would react better to this once removed way of talking about hot button issues? I suspect it was a bit of both.  In any event I hope folks will watch and enjoy it as much as I do.




The first Department Store Santa: Day 13 of the Original Unitarian Universalist Advent Calendar


This was for me one of the more delightful discoveries.  I had never before heard mention of theadvent_december_13 Unitarian ties to the man credited with being the first department store Santa.  As I note in the Calendar Edgars is as formally affiliated with Unitarians as with 2 other churches in his community.  What I don’t make clear in the calendar are some details about this man that further support the idea that 1) he may have felt a particular affinity to the Unitarian church and 2) regardless of the exclusivity of his Unitarian religious self understanding Edgars was a man who lived according to commitments to right action and service of others that make him a worthy model of the sort of social responsibility we wish to nurture through the ministries of our congregations and the witness of ever Unitarian Universalist in their own living.  I have included a link to a great account given as a memorialization of James Edgars by someone who knew him in which you will see some of what I am talking about.