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You owe it to yourself. Perhaps it's the way we react to this statement that makes us people or. Very people or property is produced by the Union Theological Seminary of New York City in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters underground on the educational television and radio. On today's program entitled What's In It For Me. You will hear the views and voices of. Early LUMAS junior critic Martin Walker and novelist Geoffrey Wagner television executive Edward's family and Robert McAfee Brown. These are men who will analyze some of the concepts created by our modern mass media and compare them with our own moral or religious. Here. Is the commentator for people or puppets. The president of the Union Theological Seminary in New York Dr. Henry Peten even views.
Have you ever heard any of these remarks. Watch out for your self. Always thought. You don't take care of yourself who will. What's in it for me. In an article in The New York Times Magazine the February 9th 1958 Gilbert Millstein quotes actress and BAM as. Now when I want to be alone I like being with people when I like to be with people walk when I want to walk them fast when I want to sleep when I'm sleeping. I would like the right to die. My philosophy is that life is here only to be lived so that we can. Live. Life to death which to me is paradise really. That's how it looks to me today. Tomorrow. There seems to be a new and popular fascination today with allowing
yourself to make a living being interpreted in the most obvious active moody and century. This is reflected in the teenager in the Beat Generation. In this regard gone novel and surprising me in some of our most acceptable media presentation one of the most widely acclaimed productions in the history of television was the General Motors 50th Anniversary Show presented on November 17th 1957 of the New York Times pretty Jack who wrote. The General Motors presentation primarily conceived and written by Helen dealing with a musical original concept in that hearing to a point of view. The theme of this refreshing show is taken from a line in our town. Do any human beings realize life while they live it every every minute with around the thought of the meaning of being
alive that misdoing fashioned a kaleidoscopic hole. One other development in this area should be noted. A new kind of villain is appearing on some radio and TV programs. Motion Pictures novels and particularly plays. This is the person who is not responsive. The non artist. The one with the severed background. The person who doesn't realize life every every minute such as the young wife in the successful Broadway play. Look Back In Anger who is told by her husband Jimmy Porter that plays central character. Oh my dear wife you've got so much to learn. If only something would happen to you and wake you out of your beauty sleep. If you could have a child then it would die. Grow. Let a recognizable human face emerge from that little map of India rubber and wrinkled.
Please. If only I could watch you face that. I wonder if you might even become a recognizable human being. I doubt it. You know I've never known the great pleasure of lovemaking when I didn't direct my. So what's the difference between this and the concept the General Motors show kind of don't ever be achieved between expressing oneself and living with others. What do you mean by you help yourself or you've got to take care of number one. Our producer Gallup asked our guests to comment on these questions and the dramatic excerpts you heard. Dr. Robert McAfee Brown. As a minister of the Presbyterian Church. Serve as a maybe chaplain in the Pacific during World War 2. Dr. Brown is associate professor of systematic theology and philosophy of religion.
At the Union Theological Seminary. Probably a good deal of the tremendous strain and difficulty we see today on the teenage front. Results from this that perhaps teenagers take these kinds of slogans seriously. You've probably heard them from their parents if they're among those that minority of teenagers these days who seem to have at least one parent around in any responsible situation and perhaps they take this gospel and are fundamentalist about it that they they really think this is the truth and they're quite willing to live by it. And we see everyday the tragic results of where this where this is leading. Well I think one of the most unrelated character is in recent. Fiction. Appears in the Broadway play look back in anger and we had an example of. His kind of individualism this kind of this belief in everything. Well what's the
difference between the speech that we heard from look back in anger and a concept which is really one of self as presented through the General Motors show. I have somewhat the feeling that this quite unattractive character and look back in anger. May be a little closer to the possibility of some kind of salvation from this situation. So I certainly don't want to align myself too heavily with him. He is very angry and John Osburn in writing about this play and all the angry young men in Britain who said somewhere I believe to be angry is to care. There is a sense in which this fellow does really care about certain things but I'm not sure that this statement implies that the statement implies it's Comverse which I think is what really Osburn is trying to suggest that to care is to be angry. He seems to feel that this is the only way
really to express that you care that you are angry that you take these flying potshots at everything and everybody. And it seems to me that there are many other ways of carrying beyond this one way that ORSBORN so far seems to be aware of that we can care by being compassionate. We can care by loving and not simply hating. And so far I would have to say immediately in Britain's defence that there are a couple of points at which his main character does seem to be aware of is that is he does go out of his way to be at the deathbed of the mother of one of his friends he does this of course in terms of rather brutal callousness toward his wife. He doesn't have these things very much in line. But it's clear that this is a person who has been desperately hurt by life and whose only bewildered response can be one of trying to hurt him in reply. I think there is within
even that situation a kind of potential. Which I find more difficult to discover in a very small polished sort of caring attitude of the of the other material which was quoted earlier in the program. The thing which is important here it seems to me is how we interpret this world of seeing touching smiling feeling hearing and so forth is just simply a kind of an end in itself. Or is this to be seen as something which is dependent upon something greater than itself. I mean is this a world which is been created by God and the heavens of which are responsible to him. Or is this simply some. Self sufficient entity which somehow came into existence from trying to make is that the the the way in which we make use of all of these things about us the terms in which we appropriate them are tremendously important. Are they here just to be exploited by us or are they
here as objects which we can use for the help for the betterment of our fellow men. Being aware is certainly a very important and basic thing but the things which you are aware of seem to be tremendously important Also you can be aware of people's needs as well as simply being aware of the taste of the apple when you buy it. You may be aware of your own needs and recognize both the desperateness and the glory of the possibilities open to you and that if you are aware of certain kinds of things this may mean that you are thereby shutting other kinds of things out. To be aware it might mean for somebody that he was going to spend some time digging into Play-Doh or into jeremiad and thereby learn something new about this world of seeing touching feeling and all the rest and be able to approach it with a new kind of perspective.
Looking at your example of the Apple I think many people the individual is often self styled I type today you would say yes you've got to savor that Apple and know that this is a wonderful experience that posting it. Be aware of that would be the last people in the world to recognize any degree of the difficulty complexity and cooperation that went into getting that Apple to them eating the apple in the wrong terms is probably quite a good thing. Sadly as is the director of the department of public affairs programming for the television network. The last thing governor. I presume that enlightened self-interest is. Perhaps the modification that you've got to take care of number one what's in it for me. I'm not always sure that it is quite as easy as it may sound sometimes I think it means. What do you want to do.
Really. I can understand that. That is we figure what are known as the angles. And. I know you like to push more DBS to people because we all have some self-policed in the Senate. On the other hand. Don't you find a great deal of silversmiths in the world. By and large. You look at the largely women perhaps. The. Noble characters. Campaigns for funds for the many humanitarian causes which are. So characteristic of the American scene. I doubt very much you are up to the right of society to exist without these. Selfies. Se not altogether. Again people who do community work in the general interest. If you were to go to the smaller towns of. New England I guess coast to coast you'd find
such a thing was a volunteer fire department. Now. It may be that they are all pyromaniacs at heart but I really doubt this. I lived in a small town. In Westchester for nearly 20 years. I don't know the city. And the fire company there. People ride it but it was his first it did put out fires that was available for this. It was available for disasters. They got together. And hunted for lost children. They had a blood bank which was available to anybody. They had a rescue squad with a motor and all of these things. They also had a kind of a social hall which is a small town where a good many boys who otherwise might have been hanging around street corners and getting into. Heaven knows what kind of nice to. Have a place to go up and be men and association men. I to see very tight and intellectual elite but this was done entirely voluntary.
Nobody got paid for it at all and sometimes it was hard and dangerous work. You don't feel that they might apologize for their work even though they were doing it. I'm thinking now that I can direct that question specifically at yourself and an NBC public service person to feel that this is something they kind of have to do and put up with and sort of excuse service and didn't apologize. I can promise you that. No we don't feel that way about it. As a matter of fact the network doesn't really have to do this at all. We don't fall in the same. Area as the individual stations do. We do it I presume and some degree to satisfy the requirements of the stations. Because we can do it better or should be able to do it better than most of the local stations. Largely I think we do it because we want to get a good deal of satisfaction out of it. But we are very aware of
the serious social obligations of these mass communications systems such as we have and the kind of world that we're living in and with special reference to again to American. Society. Dr. Luma Jr. is a chief of the Division of Child Psychiatry at in New York City. And Director of the program of psychiatry and religion at the Union Theological Seminary. By and large people who are thinkers. In the sense of being. Self-centered and selfish. And. Denying the rights of others I really have very low self-esteem. Their problem is that they're very busily. Trying to compensate for a deep inner sense of emptiness and a real lack of caring for themselves in the
sense of appreciating accepting and being good to themselves. They were seeking the freedom and growth of their own self. Just apply the quotation we had of the New York at who as I like to be alone when I want to be alone. I like to be with people when I want to be with people. I only walk when I want to walk fast when I want to think that's when I'm sleepy. I would just ask what if she turned to you. If you really are well cared for then you probably have the capacity to accept other people and less urgency if the starving man is worried about that little morsel is lying there under the table or Welford person is basically not disturbed if he has to walk when he doesn't want to walk or get him to want to get up your ground grumble but he'll get up. If the person is really deprived of sleep till they're practically ill. Who has to look out for that extra fine.
In other words let's think about sleeping and walking the kind of care that I'm going to be an individual. And. Nonconformist in ways in which. Nobody really cares. She's working too hard too much. Now obviously psychiatry is concerned with itself the expression itself. You really feel that. Is ever a solution to expressing oneself and living with others. It's just inevitable that these are in conflict. No I don't think it's inevitable that they're in mortal. Fear for anything like that. I think that the self only becomes the self in relation to others and that the the real self is is is powar in one sense that it is a deep centre deeply within one. And put her on the other hand and it only comes into being evoked by her relationships with other
people. And so it can't be any and in any absolute tension with the needs and interests of others because it has come into being around the interplay within each other. If you use the phrase you owe it to yourself or is that essentially what you mean if you owe something to yourself in relation to. What do you think and Randy is meaning when he says that. I want not to owe anything to anyone. This is my thing denying both yourself and others at the moment. You deny your individuality when you deny your confidence because it is only through your corporate that you find your individuality you would never come into being without the experience of confidence along the way. Jeffrey Wagner an Oxford graduate. Now lectures on literature at City College of New York and Columbia University. He is the author of the novel and the study is Parader pleasure and
Wyndham Lewis the artist as the enemy. Look back in anger in the so-called Jimmy Porter an angry young man phenomenon in England is of course one I've watched with great interest because these people are roughly of my generation. I was at Oxford with Amos and Wayne. And I know them personally and I admire their work. I look back in anger a couple of times in England and over here. The hero of look back in anger is looking out for himself. But chiefly although his rebellion is KLOS in terms of across society he picks the observer around at the beginning of the play. He dislikes the New Statesman for its pretentious French and so forth. So he's rebelling against a cross on the whole there are other elements in it. One of them is the strong tone of Nietzsche isn't it. Whereas in this country when you see that kind of revolt as you do in the so-called Beat Generation howl by Ginzburg of
Kerouac's books The revolt is very very interesting because it's against the whole world revolt against. The clock to revolt against everything any form of revolt is good even down to homosexuality and dope addiction. It's at least a contrast between the conventional world. And of course I think that contains a considerable societal danger in it. I also think there's not so much the emphasis on revolt although it may be. A good insight. As it is the emphasis upon itself. That's very true. When you look back in anger of course it seems to me that you got time you have a very clear case of a Dostoevsky and here looking out for himself the kind of Raskolnikov sort of person complete with Oh that kind of meekness which do is bifurcate the various characters in his work and it's interesting that this kind of Dostoevsky ism comes through in fascism very strongly as we keep in mind the
man who after all is about the laws of the society Raskolnikov has this whole theory which comes out of. Dostoevsky's beyond good and evil. And Jimmy Porter also is that beyond good and evil he he says why should I accept any form of repression from a society which I despise and look down on. Now it's interesting that this play was followed in England by. Various writings by people like Colin Wilson and. Bill Hawkins who is a disciple of calling Wilson and who was apparently brought out a. Novel which has a more or less fascist kind of hero in it. And there's a new play I think by Michael Hastings which I haven't read which was reported in Time is creating such a stir in amongst the young intelligentsia that there was an actual fight in the theatre between Colleen Wilson Hopkins and Tynan Kenneth Tynan and his crowd because this play again predicates the kind of man who's. Released from
Allsop or convention. He just looks off to himself and Tynan is intelligent enough to see that this contained a great deal of unhealthy tendencies especially when he is under the guise of religion as it does in comic book. If you talk to people students who are living in. Urban conglomerations I guess they do feel pressures of conformity to gain the pressures that they. Say. And Bancroft is quoted as saying I like to be alone when I want to be alone I like to be with people when I like to be with people let me live my own life. In other words. And I would definitely say that that time could be a spirit but I think it can slip over into social psychology and into politics in a very dangerous way altogether. I wouldn't say it's dangerous in the Catholic fiction because it seems to be rather anarchic there. But when it comes over in this kind of religious way you see it's so fascinating to watch the way in which religion is used to power in these
young British writers. At work in lectures on the philosophy of education of the teachers college Columbia University. Richard Watson is the film critic for Progressive magazine. And a freelance writer for many publications. And a balance ever be a gap. Between expressing oneself. And living with others. Well this is of course one of the basic problems of our Western tradition. This so-called dualism expressed as self and other in terms of the individual self and society in terms of the individual's relationship. To the complex within which he lives. What we mean by self with in distinction to the group is standards that are not
simply personal but which are actually beyond itself. The sense of right of righteousness. Which allows a man to stand up and disagree to stand up say for what he believes. Is the state of all in one sense as an expression of self. But it's also state able you say something in which. He is reaching. Beyond himself. Beyond the group. In which he finds himself towards a higher standard. It's a kind of a paradox. Of identity. In which the expression of the soul is seen to in terms of its reaching beyond itself. And now for a commentary on today's program here is the Roosevelt professor of systematic
theology and the president of Union Theological Seminary Dr. Henry Pitney. Isn't the issue in this discussion between self-fulfillment and social relations and obligations is closely akin to the central issue in one of our previous discussions is the good life good. What is the secret of happiness is that earlier discussion was brought to its conclusion by reminding us of the saying of Jesus which was more often repeated by him than any other. He who seeks to save his life will lose it. Is that a pious religious injunction or is it true true based upon the profound understanding of human nature. You sound psychology. Well the outcome of the other philosophy which is so widely professed by the angry young men and many of their ilk among the most discussed
novelist and dramatist today the philosophy. Look out for yourself. I say the outcome of that philosophy in their characters and in themselves isn't very reassuring or persuasive as I know them. They don't demonstrate convincing evidence of having found themselves or life or anything else worth finding. That is the empirical refutation of their thesis. It is true he who seeks to save these lives loses. But we must recognize that this philosophy is all the power of the hearing self-centeredness and selfishness of human nature. No wonder when dressed up in sophisticated formulae it exerts a powerful appeal. For this reason most of us will be convinced of his Haldeman's either by argument or by empirical evidence of its unsatisfactoriness. The same is true of the
verse Jesus promise he who loses his life for my sake will find it. There's plenty of empirical proof of that truth. Likewise in the lives of countless men and women down the centuries who have put it to the test in their own mind. But that kind of evidence which stands forth before our eyes for anyone to read doesn't seem to be very persuasive with the present generation and probably for the same reason it flies in the face of our ingrained self-centeredness and selfishness. This suggests that a true understanding of life and even more with the living of life requires more of an argument or evidence it demands the profounder religious recognition that our lives are a gift a trust from their maker to be administered as a trust from him.
He who wills to do the will of God shall know and his will is our peace. That was Dr. Henry Pitman even when the president of the Union Theological Seminary and the commentator for this series people or puppets. Next week at the same time. People or puppets will bring you an authoritative analysis and dramatic presentation on Daydream boredom and escape. You want to get away from it all. The guest because he's discussing this topic will be author Edmund fuller psychoanalyst early LUMAS junior anthropologist Colin Campbell and Paul Scherrer and Dr. than just people or property is written moderated and directed by Philip Geller. Well the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Executive
producer for the seminary professor John W. Buckley. Music by Alfred brook. Your announcer Dean Lyman with this series is made possible by a grant from the educational television and radio center for distribution by the National Association of educational broadcasters. Join us again next week for an exciting analysis of dream boredom and escape. You want to get away from it all on. People. This is the Emmy CB radio network
People or puppets?
What's in it for me?
Producing Organization
Union Theological Seminary (New York, N.Y.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
What's in it for me? The media's portrayal of self in society.
Series Description
Discussions of values and ethics, modern versus traditional. Faculty from Union Theological Seminary, authors Kenneth Burke and Geoffrey Wagner, critics Edmund Fuller and Martin Dworkin, Dr. Solon Kimball and broadcaster Edward Stanley are featured.
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Composer: Brooks, Alfred
Guest: Brown, Robert McAfee, 1920-2001
Guest: Dworkin, Martin S., 1921-1996
Guest: Loomis, Earl A., Jr.
Guest: Wagner, Geoffrey
Host: Van Dusen, Henry P. (Henry Pitney), 1897-1975
Producing Organization: Union Theological Seminary (New York, N.Y.)
Writer: Gelb, Philip
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-7-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:33
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Chicago: “People or puppets?; What's in it for me?,” 1959-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023,
MLA: “People or puppets?; What's in it for me?.” 1959-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <>.
APA: People or puppets?; What's in it for me?. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from