Skip to comments.A Conversation with Ray Bradbury ("if you watch local news, your head will turn to mush")
Posted on 11/16/2011 7:23:31 AM PST by Recovering_Democrat
excerpts from the interview with Bradbury....
[Q]: What forms of censorship do your regard as the most dangerous today?
Bradbury: There are none in our country. We have too many groups for censorship to be possible. We have Catholics and Jews and Protestants, and Republicans and Democrats, and women's libbers, and lesbians and homosexuals and bisexuals, and young and old...We're all watching each other...The main problem is the idiot TV. If you watch local news, your head will turn to mush.
[Q]: There seems to have been a decline in standards of journalistic objectivity, to put it mildly.
Bradbury: It's not just substance; it's style. The whole problem of TV and movies today is summed up for me by the film "Moulin Rouge".
(Excerpt) Read more at books.google.com ...
Ray Bradbury grew up in a Baptist home while living in Illinois, Arizona and California.
He is best known for his book "Fahrenheit 451", a book about government censorship of books and thinking. The government uses TELEVISION as a distraction to real thinking, and anyone found with a book has their home and goods burned to the ground.
Bradbury's hero in the novel is a book burner whose mind and heart is changed. He sees the television for what it is: a distraction to keep people from thinking.
I don't know Bradbury's politics, but he was damn right about TV's detrimental effects on the human brain.
I think Bradbury's thoughts on censorship might be a bit different 8 years later--it certainly seems as though some form of "censorship", though not explicit governmental censorship, is rampant in some quarters. "Censorship" as I see it is an act of government, not the market place.
More of what Bradbury said about Moulin Rouge:
It came out a few years ago and won a lot of awards. It has 4,560 half-second clips in it. The camera never stops and holds still. So it clicks off your thinking: you can’t think when you have things bombarding you like that. The average tv commercial of sixty seconds has one hundred twenty half-second clips in it, or one-third of a second. We bombard people with sensation. That subsitutes for thinking.
Bradbury is a paleo lib but his comments here are good. And funny.
I think the film “Network” nailed it a long time ago. I gave up broadcast and cable tv a few years back and haven’t missed it a bit. In fact, I’ve lost all tolerance for it. If I am exposed to it for even a few minutes, it starts to make me sick.
I got rid of TV in the mid-1990’s. Whenever I’m exposed to LOCAL news anywhere in the US, without exception I notice the same thing. They speak and act, literally, like their primary audience is in the 7th grade.
Read all his major works in high school. I’m not a big si fi fan but loved his stuff.
that is why I stopped watching the news.
I totally agree . . . Moulin Rouge was probably the worst film I ever saw . . . the jerky camera crap was extremely annoying . . . it never let up . . . 1-1/2 hours or so of constant flickering screen . . . garbage.
And yet, they had a very beautiful female lead that the camera could have spent time on, but they chose to go goofy with the camera jerks.
My favorite Bradbury book was “The Martian Chronicles.”
I hated the new Moulin Rouge. The original one was much better.
Where’s the entire interview?
My favorite story of his is so non-sci-fi: Dandelion Wine. Every time I read it, it evokes a deep sense of nostalgia and yearning for good days of life.
I can’t remember who said the following quote.
“Those who dont read the news are uninformed. Those who do are misinformed.”
And he's lived long enough to see some of his favorites themes being born out in a general sense, for better or worse.
And, if you watch national and international news, your head will explode!
I'm now onto audio books, downloaded from the library, I can listen and do other things at the same time. I'm not trying to be snobbish about it, I just can't tolerate what is being served up. The news has me ranting for hours and the shows, well, they just plain s**k.
Later in the interview, he says he is working on a rare sequel, one for Dandelion Wine.
Montag, I’ve been meaning to ask: why the 813? Your area code, or something else? :)
Ditto. The whole swath of ad-funded media is repulsive (most of it lowest-common-denominator material); I’d rather pay for ad-free than “save” the money at the cost of my mind.
Last night I relaxed with an old 50s noir, "Bullet for Joey" with my man Edward G. Robinson. It was a simple detective story, but relaxing and fun. It's an added bonus to see the old cars and styles and whatnot from the era.
And hey, my wife and I love big cute rodents--beavers, marmots, etc. Those movies are very relaxing too. I watched a documentary the other night on "Unusual Buildings", an ode to classic roadside America. Light, relaxing. No commercials. No annoying modern sensibilities.
LOL! I love it!
That’s already been published...”Farewell, Summer”. It came out in 2006.
"Unusual Buildings", saw it, I liked it. Being near Lincoln Highway in PA, I've seen many of those. There are still a couple in Philly but a number of them when you head out to Lancaster.
Modern Sensibilities - perhaps that's it. I like educational programs/films, I like entertainment but at some point, it must have become the goal of film makers and producers to to have the audience take on their sensibilities, their belief patterns. Education, entertainment reduced to packaging.
There was a movie I saw in the theater a while back, I think is was Julia Roberts a similarly terrible actress, she was abused by her husband. She spent months on these tricky martial arts training and crazy plotting. I turned to my date and said to her; "guns!, problem solved, The End" and got up to leave...
I like Kojack. Me-TV runs it.
And it's technological. Whenever a new technology comes along, it gets overused, because it's the latest thing. Right now the novelty of digital film apparantly hasn't warn off, so we see all the new cliches, the unrealistic car wrecks, the 360 views of a bullet in midair, etc.
All tedious. No actors with charisma or originality. No stories worth watching. No directors of any talent. Just crap.
I love Kojak. I have a thing for 70s detective shows. Mostly Kojak and Columbo, but I won’t turn down a little McMillan and Wife, or maybe some Barnaby Jones. Hell, I’d watch Cannon if I ever ran across it.
Oh man, that’s weird. I just looked up me-tv because I’ve never heard of it, and what’s the first listing I see? CANNON!
Shouldn't it have been called "McMillan and Beard." ;)
Oh dang. I thought it was a streaming site.
He was pretty convincing as a hetero, as I recall.
I remember my mom telling me that she heard, off camera, Rock was very effeminate, nothing like his on-screen persona. And this was even before people knew he had AIDS
TV is great, but it depends on what you watch. I dont watch the news anymore. But history channel, science channel, etc, there are some excellent programs.
“Why the 813?”
Can I guess? Can I guess? 813.54 22 is the LC classification of Fahrenheit 451. Thus, Montag813. (If I win, I get a cookie)
I think LC stands for Library of Congress... it has something to do with the classification of the novel.
I used to have a little personal tradition...starting on the first day of summer (or whenever kids got out of school, whichever came first) I would sit down and read a chapter of Dandelion Wine every day.
Goes nicely with the “Main Street USA” book of old Waukegan pictures. (There’s even a picture of the infamous bridge through the ravine!)
You win the cookie! A CASE of cookies. Check my profile. LC classification, and the address of Guy Montag: Block 813.
I feel uber smart!! LOL!!
Kojack is at 4 EST and Cannon hits at 11 AM in between Perry Mason and Hawaii 5-0.
Ever watch Ellery Queen? I have the DVDs and love that series too.
The mini-series needed help apart from the score.
Me-TV is on a range of channels I typically skip but found Kojack I think and now it is a favorite. Good promos.
"Local news watching makes you dumber," Jamieson said.
Agreed: the book was definitely better.