Monday, June 04, 2007

S Is For Senescent

When I was younger, I developed a taste for speculative fiction, nurtured by the works of Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, and many other worthies, including Ray Bradbury.

Now, I don't insist that a creator of any artistic work share my personal politics or philosophies of life...For me, divergence of opinion is the air that Art breathes.

And yet, from Raw Story:

Contrary to widespread critical and mass opinion accumulated over fifty years, author Ray Bradbury insists that his classic novel Fahrenheit 451, originally published in 1953 during the McCarthy era, isn't really about government censorship.

According to the renowned author, "We've never had censorship in this country and we've never burned books. There are temporary lapses."

Really, Mr. Bradbury?

While it is well within your creator's rights to offer a revisionistic opinion of your own works 5 decades later, (noting the fact that the title of your work refers to "the temperature at which book-paper catches fire, and burns", and is set in a time where the possession of books by individuals is banned by government fiat)

...As to your latter assertion regarding American bookburning, I need offer you only one name:

Wilhelm Reich.

1 comment:

James Robert Smith said...

Sadly, in his old age, Ray Bradbury became a lying sack of shit. Apparently he swung far to the right during the Reagan days. I'll never forget going to see him speak in the late 80s and listening to him lie through his fucking teeth about what were obviously anti-McCarthy sentiments in his short stories and F451. He had suddenly begun to claim that he was writing not about Senator McCarthy, but about the Soviets.

Alas. In his dotage Bradbury became a poltically worthless asshole.