Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fire is bright and fire is clean

I come home and turn the TV on to “My baloney has a first name; it's O-S-C-A-R” - aw, that’s cute – I pick up the paper to see what’s going on around me. Ugh, it’s just so depressing. I’ll just skim through the headlines online later. For now, better stick to Primetime TV. I need something that will help me forget about my worries… And there we have it, my life could be a scene right out of Fahrenheit 451, except the only difference is the books I’m not reading aren’t hidden in ceiling panels but sitting on a bookshelf staring straight at me. I look around for the electrical hounds - whew, there is still time, better start reading!

I might sound a little alarmist, but I just finished the first chapter of my copy of 451 to discover that Bradbury’s science fiction novel is not coming across as fictional as I anticipated. His descriptions of common household wall-size TVs, globalization of quick recaps of information, and a seemingly scripted political correctness designed to minimize offensive opinions are right on target. I’d be really terrified if I had not just helped the library hand out 3,000 copies of this book in practically one week. Feeling confident I live in a community that values reading and books, I’m moving on to chapter 2.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

F451 is prophetic, as has been pointed out, but in far more ways than just being television obsessed and illiterate. How many of the Presidents can you name? How many justices of our current Supreme Court? How many winners of American Idol, Survivor, or some other reality show? When bussiness distract the attention of the people from the government, who will watch the watchers? If people stop voting, how much longer can our democracy survive? After all, having a large portion of our population vote is the only thing that seperates us from many one party dictatorships, where the same regime is elected year in and year out with a 99.97% approval rating.

This event is part of The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.