“Aren’t You Surprised to See Me?”

by jbkeenanjr

“Drop the scales from your eyes,” he tells Buz. “Consider the present society of the world. Are we still individuals, or are we prisoners of bureaucracy? Insects in vast, grinding systems, carrying out ant-like, apparently rational actions with no human idea of the ends they serve? Ours is no longer a guilt culture in which control of wrongdoing is self-imposed by conscience. Instead we have a shame culture, one in which acts are judged good or evil solely on the basis of whether one is caught or not, in which the worst punishment is public humiliation, not private guilt. Ours is a world, Murdock, in which conscious morality is treated with derision and reason with scorn. This is an age which no longer waits patiently through this lifetime for the rewards in the next, but instead mills anxiously about overindulging, driven to cheat, driven to crime. So I have killed six men.

“Well, let me tell you that each time, I died with them. Each time I killed myself, too. So what is that insignificant sacrifice against the gigantic moral collapse of the world?”

A religious nut (David Wayne) to Buz from “Route 66” 1962 episode “Aren’t You Surprised to See Me?” — written by Stirling Silliphant (1960-1964)