Michael Matteo: Woke culture — The American Twilight Zone

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

The Twilight Zone was a classic 1960’s TV series created by Rod Serling that was known for surreal events, odd characters and plot twists.

One of the more popular episodes was the story titled: It’s A Good Life, which was about a little boy who could wish people into a cornfield if he didn’t like what they were thinking or saying. Another episode, The Eye of the Beholder, was about a woman judged to be hideously ugly (even though she was, by our standards, beautiful) and ordered to live in a colony of people with her facial malady. In the episode, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, alien manipulation of electricity causes an entire community to degrade into anarchy. Twilight Zone episodes were thought-provoking and social commentaries about life back then.

The opening monologue for the first season of the Twilight Zone went like this:  “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”

America today has its own version of the Twilight Zone, where wrong is right and right is wrong, however, they aren’t really thought-provoking, but are more mind-boggling and illustrate the old saying, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

Spoiled woke individuals are reminiscent of little Anthony who would wish people into cornfields and force everyone to watch his brand of television. He demanded that everyone reaffirm that whatever he did was “a real good thing.” This is very similar to those individuals who demand that society do what they want (CRT, hormone therapy/sex reassignments for children, speech codes on campuses) and opt for their beliefs or risk the “Cornfield of Cancellation!”

The same kind of parallel exists in the episode that featured beautiful Donna Douglas (Elly May Clampett on the Beverly Hillbillies) and woke ideas about what is and isn’t beautiful.  For those on the left, people of color and transgender people are beautiful; straight white males are ugly. Identity politics is all about judging people by their appearance, not by the content of their character. According to those who subscribe to these surreal ideals, a person’s appearance dictates whether that person should be celebrated or vilified. Straight white males are the pariahs of their world and should be castigated from it, similarly to the character in Eye of the Beholder.

The woke version of “inclusion” is about including only those they like, and this even extends to the dead. Woke’s twisted logic involves not teaching the literature or historical contributions of white males simply because the authors are too white and too male.  According to woke educators, we should diversify what we teach and include all others because they have been underrepresented in history and literature classes, even if their contribution was minute in comparison to the contributions of white males.

In the episode The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, neighbors turn on one another, similarly to those who aren’t allowed to enjoy a meal when ANTIFA protestors show up at the restaurant where they are dining and demand that the diners support them or else they risk being subjected to violence at the hands of a mob. It is this mob mentality that permeates so many aspects of current day society and is illustrated by the polarization between groups based on race, social issues, and political affiliations.

There are many other Twilight Zone episodes that evoke odd similarities between what transpires daily in the American culture war, however, in some cases, new ground has been broken and current-day stories could actually generate new episodes filled with irony and twisted endings.

Imagine, if you will, a world where anyone can claim to be anything, and if you don’t accept it, you are at fault and labeled as “X-phobic.” It’s a world where actual biology takes a backseat to how a person identifies, and people actively engage in debates over which bathroom or locker room a person should use. This episode could be titled: Identity Pottytics

Imagine, if you will, a world where criminals have statues erected in their honor, streets named after them, and funerals that celebrate their lives, while police are vilified and told to stand down when criminals steal, burn down buildings, and loot businesses. It is a place where prosecutors refuse to prosecute criminals for property crimes and where the mayor of a city will blame store owners for crime while absolving herself from any responsibility for the outrageous murder rate of her city. This episode could be titled: Crime Pays

Imagine, if you will, a world where a man can fake a hate crime, blame Trump supporters for racism and homophobia, lie to police, get the sympathy of notable politicians, and when found guilty by a jury of perpetrating a hoax, people still believe he is the victim. This episode could be titled: Jussieistice

Imagine, if you will, a world where the mainstream media reports news that only serves their own agenda and, instead of reporting the news honestly, it is spun to antagonize and divide people for ratings. This episode could be titled: Please Turn off your TV’s

Imagine, if you will, a world where all ills of society were conveniently blamed on one thing: Systemic Racism. This is a world where people believe that the plight of people of color, LGBQT, and all others truly believe that they have it worse today than slaves, lynching victims and those beaten while marching for civil rights.  This episode could be titled: The Person of Color/LGBQT/Binary Person who Cried Systemic Racism

Imagine, if you will, a world where children are taught that math is racist, the use of good grammar is racist, and there are only 2 classes of people (victims and victimizers). It is a world where skin color is the only determinant of the class you were born into. People lacking melanin in their skin are oppressors and have a phantom privilege because people should be judged, not by their individual experiences and characteristics, but by their racial affiliations: This episode could be titled: The Content of Our DNA

The Twilight Zone was a series that was created to entertain, enlighten and educate. Today, the problem is that truth is dumber than fiction. Enlightened and educated people aren’t manipulated or even entertained by Bizarro world events. The twists in the Twilight Zone made people think, but the twists in the strange nature of American culture today make the average person question whether or not he is living in the Twilight Zone.

If daily events in America prove one thing it is that there is no middle ground between light and shadow and wokeness is neither educational, enlightening nor entertaining. Americans must resist all attempts of woke individuals to transform America into an unrecognizable state of chaos, or the consequence will be life in the Twilight Zone.


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Michael Matteo


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