The intolerant Archibald Beechcroft is a misanthropic clerk of the Central Park Insurance Co. that hates everybody. When a colleague gives him a book about the power of the mind, Archibald reads the magic book and decides to wipe out the human race. However, he feels lonely and uses his ability to make the entire population of his city his perfect clone, discovering how hateful the world would be. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mr. Archibald Beechcroft, a child of the twentieth century, who has found out through trial and error - and mostly error - that with all its faults, it may well be that this is the best of all possible worlds. People notwithstanding, it has much to offer. Tonight's case in point - in the Twilight Zone.
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THE MIND AND THE MATTER is one of my ten favorite T.Z. episodes, along with Printer's Devil, Cavender is Missing, One for the Angels, To Serve Man, Next Stop is Willoughby, Time Enough at Last, Mr.Bevis, Big Tall Wish, A World of Difference, and Kick the Can. Most of the story has only one character, namely, an office worker who appears to be a low-level attorney or accountant. He is bothered by the constant chattering and noise in his work place, and irritated by being jostled every day in his train commute, and bothered by his landlady. One day, a younger co-worker introduces him to a book, purely out of friendship. The book provides techniques for making things happen, merely by concentrating. At first he is a skeptic, but then gives it a try, and is delighted when he can cause his landlady to vanish, cause commuters to vanish, and cause all of his co-workers to disappear. Then, the story discloses how the character, marvelously played by Shelley Berman, becomes progressively bored and even more irritated, when he has NOTHING TO DO at work (because all of his co-workers have vanished). The ending is a happy one, and predictable enough, where Berman wishes that things were just as they had been. People who have had the DISPLEASURE of working in an office with cubicles will especially like this story. Also, people who have had the DISPLEASURE of co-workers who frequently engage in noisy chit-chat, gossiping, or laughing while making shrieking noises, will also love this story.
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