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Opening Arguments

Ray and me

Your may now pay homage to me as the genius you always knew I was. Back in October,  I wrote about Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451":

The book is not really about heavy-handed government censors who want to control our thoughts, though that take on it is pretty widespread. The insidious thing about the society described by Ray Bradbury is that the government is merely responding to the people's wishes, giving them the comfortable world they want, where they do not have to be challenged and think of unpleasant things.

Now we have the last word on the subject, from Mr. Bradbury himself:

Now, Bradbury has decided to make news about the writing of his iconographic work and what he really meant. Fahrenheit 451 is not, he says firmly, a story about government censorship. Nor was it a response to Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose investigations had already instilled fear and stifled the creativity of thousands.

[. . .]

He says the culprit in Fahrenheit 451 is not the state — it is the people. Unlike Orwell's 1984, in which the government uses television screens to indoctrinate citizens, Bradbury envisioned television as an opiate.

Thank you, thank you. I accept your praise in all humbleness. Just send cash. Disagreeable comments will be deleted.


Bob G.
Mon, 06/04/2007 - 5:55am

..And that makes me want to RETHINK (long and in depth) the phrase:
Of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, and for the PEOPLE.

I know what it's SUPPOSED to refer to and what conext it SHOULD be taken, but it also has the potential to lead to a Bradburian world with entertainment-driven citizens promoting and embracing hedonistic pursuits.

All the government has to do is follow the will of the PEOPLE.

Great observations...by BOTH of you.


Leo Morris
Mon, 06/04/2007 - 6:45am

To "lead to" a Bradburian world? Have you looked around lately?

Bob G.
Tue, 06/05/2007 - 6:23am

Sorry...should have said "HAS LED TO"....

I like to believe in being optimistic, but my cynical pessimism keeps getting in my way...lol!


C. Ikehara
Tue, 06/19/2007 - 1:20am

According to the following article, reading is continuing to decline: