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Rod Serling quotes (showing 1-30 of 50)

“Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.”
Rod Serling
“There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on.”
Rod Serling
“Being like everybody is the same as being nobody.”
Rod Serling
“We're developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won't be able to think.”
Rod Serling
“This highway leads to the shadowy tip of reality: you're on a through route to the land of the different, the bizarre, the unexplainable...Go as far as you like on this road. Its limits are only those of mind itself. Ladies and Gentlemen, you're entering the wondrous dimension of imagination. . .
Next stop The Twilight Zone.”
Rod Serling
“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man ... a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. 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.”
Rod Serling
“Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete”
Rod Serling
“...the worst aspect of our time is prejudice... In almost everything I've written, there is a thread of this - man's seemingly palpable need to dislike someone other than himself.”
Rod Serling
“You see. No shock. No engulfment. No tearing assunder. What you feared would come like an explosion is like a whisper. What you thought was the end is the beginning.”
Rod Serling
“Coming up with ideas is the easiest thing on earth. Putting them down is the hardest.”
Rod Serling
“for civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized”
Rod Serling
“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 rememberance. Then we become the grave diggers.”
Rod Serling
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
Rod Serling
“If you need drugs to be a good writer, you are not a good writer.”
Rod Serling
“Imagination... its limits are only those of the mind itself.”
Rod Serling
“If you write, fix pipes, grade papers, lay bricks or drive a taxi - do it with a sense of pride. And do it the best you know how. Be cognizant and sympathetic to the guy alongside, because he wants a place in the sun, too. And always...always look past his color, his creed, his religion and the shape of his ears. Look for the whole person. Judge him as the whole person.”
Rod Serling
“Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, a talent becomes a curse.”
Rod Serling
“According to the Bible, God created the heavens and the Earth. It is man’s prerogative - and woman’s - to create their own particular and private hell.”
Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone: Complete Stories
“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into… the Twilight Zone.”
Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone: Complete Stories
“Science fiction makes the implausible possible, while science fantasy makes the impossible plausible.”
Rod Serling
“It has forever been thus: So long as men write what they think, then all of the other freedoms - all of them - may remain intact. And it is then that writing becomes a weapon of truth, an article of faith, an act of courage.”
Rod Serling
“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices - to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own - for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to The Twilight Zone.
[closing narration: "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street", Twilight Zone episode aired March 4, 1960”
Rod Serling
“In his grave, we praise him for his decency - but when he walked amongst us, we responded with no decency of our own.
When he suggested that all men should have a place in the sun - we put a special sanctity on the right of ownership and the privilege of prejudice by maintaining that to deny homes to Negroes was a democratic right.
Now we acknowledge his compassion - but we exercised no compassion of our own. When he asked us to understand that men take to the streets out of anguish and hopelessness and a vision of that dream dying, we bought guns and speculated about roving agitators and subversive conspiracies and demanded law and order.
We felt anger at the effects, but did little to acknowledge the causes. We extol all the virtues of the man - but we chose not to call them virtues before his death.
And now, belatedly, we talk of this man's worth - but the judgement comes late in the day as part of a eulogy when it should have been made a matter of record while he existed as a living force. If we are to lend credence to our mourning, there are acknowledgements that must be made now, albeit belatedly. We must act on the altogether proper assumption that Martin Luther King asked for nothing but that which was his due... He asked only for equality, and it is that which we denied him.
[excerpt from a letter to The Los Angeles Times in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; April 8, 1968”
Rod Serling
“If in any quest for magic, in any search for sorcery, witchery, legerdemain, first check the human spirit.”
Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone: Complete Stories
“For the record, suspicion can kill, and prejudice can destroy. And a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own, for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.”
Rod Serling
“It's simply a national acknowledgement that in any kind of priority, the needs of human beings must come first. Poverty is here and now. Hunger is here and now. Racial tension is here and now. Pollution is here and now. These are the things that scream for a response. And if we don't listen to that scream - and if we don't respond to it - we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us - or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name.
[from a Commencement Address at the University of Southern California; March 17, 1970]”
Rod Serling
“To My Children,
I'm dedicating my little story to you; doubtless you will be among the very few who will ever read it. It seems war stories aren't very well received at this point. I'm told they're out-dated, untimely and as might be expected - make some unpleasant reading. And, as you have no doubt already perceived, human beings don't like to remember unpleasant things. They gird themselves with the armor of wishful thinking, protect themselves with a shield of impenetrable optimism, and, with a few exceptions, seem to accomplish their "forgetting" quite admirably.
But you, my children, I don't want you to be among those who choose to forget. I want you to read my stories and a lot of others like them. I want you to fill your heads with Remarque and Tolstoy and Ernie Pyle. I want you to know what shrapnel, and "88's" and mortar shells and mustard gas mean. I want you to feel, no matter how vicariously, a semblance of the feeling of a torn limb, a burnt patch of flesh, the crippling, numbing sensation of fear, the hopeless emptiness of fatigue. All these things are complimentary to the province of War and they should be taught and demonstrated in classrooms along with the more heroic aspects of uniforms, and flags, and honor and patriotism. I have no idea what your generation will be like. In mine we were to enjoy "Peace in our time". A very well meaning gentleman waved his umbrella and shouted those very words...less than a year before the whole world went to war. But this gentleman was suffering the worldly disease of insufferable optimism. He and his fellow humans kept polishing the rose colored glasses when actually they should have taken them off. They were sacrificing reason and reality for a brief and temporal peace of mind, the same peace of mind that many of my contemporaries derive by steadfastly refraining from remembering the War that came before.
[excerpt from a dedication to an unpublished short story, "First Squad, First Platoon"; from Serling to his as yet unborn children]”
Rod Serling
“The writer's role is to menace the public's conscience. He must have a position, a point of view. He must see the arts as a vehicle of social criticism and he must focus on the issues of his time.”
Rod Serling
“I was deeply interested in conveying what is a deeply felt conviction of my own. This is simply to suggest that human beings must involve themselves in the anguish of other human beings. This, I submit to you, is not a political thesis at all. It is simply an expression of what I would hope might be ultimately a simple humanity for humanity's sake.”
Rod Serling
“The ultimate obscenity is not caring, not doing something about what you feel, not feeling! Just drawing back and drawing in, becoming narcissistic.”
Rod Serling

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The Twilight Zone: Complete Stories The Twilight Zone
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