Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Ray Bradbury Dead

Ray Bradbury died on Tuesday, but we can still listen to him read his most famous book. Fahrenheit 451. This is a wonderful experience in part because he still cared so much for the material so many years later.

This was written several years ago –

Bradbury still has a lot to say, especially about how people do not understand his most literary work, Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953.[1]

We have been missing the point, but what is the point?

HE SAYS THE CULPRIT in Fahrenheit 451 is not the state — it is the people. Unlike Orwell’s 1984, in which the government uses television screens to indoctrinate citizens, Bradbury envisioned television as an opiate.[1]

Bradbury imagined a democratic society whose diverse population turns against books: Whites reject Uncle Tom’s Cabin and blacks disapprove of Little Black Sambo. He imagined not just political correctness, but a society so diverse that all groups were “minorities.”[1]

Not being offensive has become a religion to many. This has resulted in a rebellion by some people of all political persuasions being offensive in large part for the sake of being offensive.

Maybe we do not need to go out of our way to be offensive, but do we need to stop going out of our way to avoid insulting idiots. When people make ridiculous statements, ridicule is appropriate. Pandering to fools is not appropriate.

When we pretend that there is anything too important to be criticized, we ridicule that which we try to protect, whether it is a spouse, a country, a religion, or anything else. Our desire to protect the image from reality is ridiculous.

Here are some samples from Fahrenheit 451. There is an audio book version read by Ray Bradbury, that is certainly worth listening to.

We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?

We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.

Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it.

So few want to be rebels anymore. And out of those few, most, like myself, scare easily.

If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.

the most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority.

Others die, I go on. There are no consequences and no responsibilities. Except that there are. But let’s not talk about them, eh? By the time the consequences catch up with you, it’s too late, isn’t it,

Books can be expensive, but reading does not need to cost anything. The following sites allow access to free books, including the library, which may have the latest best sellers as well as the classics.

eBooks @ The University of Adelaide

The OnLine Books Page at UPenn

Project Gutenberg


At your local library you can find out how to use a library card to download current copyright protected audio books to a computer or MP3 player. These downloads have a limited life (a couple of weeks) before they are no longer useful.

These books are free to use.

Even I can afford them.


[1] Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 Misinterpreted – L.A.’s august Pulitzer honoree says it was never about censorship
By Amy E. Boyle Johnston
Wednesday, May 30 2007