Giffing Anti-Intellectualism in “Time Enough at Last”

The following three GIFs capture one of Rod Serling’s recurrent themes in the Twilight Zone: anti-intellectualism. While “Time Enough at Last” is about many things, I can’t help but read Mrs. Bemis’s sadistic defiling of her husband’s books as anything other than society’s violent reaction to learning as a form of pleasure and beauty. What’s more, it seems all the more relevant that Burgess Meredith also stars in another classic Twilight Zone episode on this topic: “The Obsolete Man” (he was in four episodes all told). Control is a function of shackling the imagination, and reading remains the most liberatory of acts given how little it imposes a third party’s mediated rendering of the world upon our imagination.

time_enough_at_last_book 02


time_enough_at_last_pages_rip 01

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5 Responses to Giffing Anti-Intellectualism in “Time Enough at Last”

  1. I love these. All of them. I had the same ideas, actually; I was going to do one of these three scenes. I thought maybe the wife ripping the pages out, because I just though it was such a ridiculous thing to do. She is a complete caricature in this episode, utterly irrational in her hatred of Henry’s reading. I don’t get it. She seems to dislike him for not being “manly” because of his intellectualism. Or maybe I’m reading that into it. Anyway, the portrayal of the wife annoys the crap out of me, and I wanted to talk about that with a gif. But you beat me to it! That’ll teach me to put off my giffing. 🙂 Nice ones!

    • Reverend says:


      I am sorry to steal your GIF, and no question the characterization of the henpecked husband by the overbearing wife was a bit too much. Obviously it is for effect and dated generationally. That said, if you can abstract out both the wife and his boss, the anti-intellectualism from all elements of society seems to sink in a bit more.

      As for GIFing, what I love about it is there are so many scenes to do from so many episodes 🙂

      Oh yeah, and thank you kindly for the compliments, I am verklempt 🙂

  2. GNA Garcia says:


    This is mortifying. I can’t remember the details of this episode, but believe I’ve only heard it and not seen. The gif is pure and deadly. Perfection. G

  3. Reverend says:

    I watched it on the plane last night and totally forgot the scene with the evil wide, the blacked out pages reminded me immediately of The Blackout Poetry assignment and I wanted to do it 🙂

  4. Jim, the first thing I noticed with these gifs (‘specially the first two) is how seamless they are. The action is a never ending cycle, without visible clipping from the sequence of frames. I need to work on my skills to attain such a level!

    Both the blackout pages and the tearing out of pages remind me of Keri Smith’s Wreck this Journal. It’s a project to build confidence in creativity, and in destruction as an act of creativity.

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