“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.” – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
“You’re a hopeless romantic,” said Faber. “It would be funny if it were not serious. It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the ‘parlor families’ today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios, and televisors, but are not. No,no it’s not books at all you’re looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type or receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Of course you couldn’t know this, of course you still can’t understand what I mean when i say all this. You are intuitively right, that’s what counts.” – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
I’ve been reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, here, in Greece. It is a time travel parallel to our current political climate and modern society. It’s a wake up call and a breath of fresh air, despite its depressingly uncanny resemblance to our present times.
I urge you to read or re-discover Bradbury’s masterpiece.
Fahrenheit 451 was written in 1953! The novel is 65 years old, and is still extremely relatable on a personal context and relevant on a global scale.
Thank you Ray for having left this symbolic piece of poetry behind. The world needs to hear it now, more than ever.