In a post-apocalyptic settlement, the inhabitants' survival is dependent on the advice of an unseen man living in a nearby cave. This dependence is tested when a band of soldiers descends on their town.
Ten years after an atomic apocalypse, a small group of survivors manage to eke out a very difficult existence. They've managed to survive in large part due to the advice they receive from an old man who lives in a cave outside of the town. Goldsmith acts as the intermediary and the old man's advice on things like crops or the safety of a batch of old canned goods are usually correct. When four soldiers led by Major French arrive in the town, the social order is upended with the townsfolk attacking the old man's cave but not really prepared for what they find inside. Written by
Where is this old man that keeps you on a diet? When does he come out?
He never comes out. He stays in the cave.
Well, I'm not surprised, Mr Goldsmith. I'm not surprised at all. You see, off Lake Erie we've got a pack of wierdies up there that bay at the moon once a week. And then around what used to be Chicago, man, we've got a real swinging cult goin' there. They've built themselves a statue made out of fissionable lead. This is their "diety". What do we have here? We have an invisible old ...
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I realize that the other commentators took this episode pretty seriously. Indeed it is a political episode. It's about the baser elements of humanity. The soldiers representing the survivalist mentality, the townspeople the rabble, and the old man a manipulative, self righteous oracle. Everything plays out the way it should, with those who deserve it getting their just desserts. It is the forbidden fruit being put on the table in front of desperate men. I hope, in my heart of hearts, that this isn't what we would do, but, sadly, I don't think it's far from the truth. The whole business of these guys rolling into a weakened civilization is played out every day in parts of the world. As I speak, it continues in the Congo and other African nations and in Thailand. We can be our own worst enemies.
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