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Ray Bradbury: Hated the Internet and Loved Libraries
Ray Bradbury, the legendary and prolific writer best known for Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, passed away last night at his home in Los Angeles. He was 91.
Bradbury’s works frequently featured space exploration a subject that fascinated him. He likely cheered when failed presidential candidate Newt Gingrich proposed a moon base. He wrote stories that foreshadowed technology’s evil role in our lives and how it would affect human interaction.
In interviews he frequently derided technology that did not improve the human condition, railed about politicians, and the general degradation of our society. A blog over at the Village Voice is wondering whether or not news of his death should even be spread via forms of social media and the Internet. The blog surmised he wouldn’t have wanted it that way. Ray Bradbury probably didn’t want anything he said or did to go “viral.” The writer’s authorized biographer, Sam Weller, even struggled with the idea to blog about his time with Bradbury.
Was Bradbury an environmentalist or was he beyond the label? Will his death cause us to analyze these themes that ally so closely with off-the-grid living and harmony between humans and nature to declare him one posthumously?
In 2007 he spoke with Green Car Journal about the future of transportation and mentioned that he had never learned to drive after witnessing a horrific car accident. He preferred to let his wife Marguerite (she passed away in 2003) do the family’s driving. The interview ended with Bradbury declaring that women are the only ones intelligent and capable enough to unite to save the planet. He also said women weren’t competitive when it comes to driving but that’s a discussion for another day and another site.
In Fahrenheit 451, the only novel of his Bradbury would describe as “sci-fi,” Clarisse McClellan tells Guy Montag:
“I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly. If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles per hour and they jailed him for two days. Isn’t that funny, and sad, too?”
Was this just Bradbury’s detest for cars coming through in the text, was it a sentimental plea for us to stop and smell the roses, or was it a warning that detachment from nature and the wider world could prove to be our undoing?
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.