Ray Bradbury > Whitney Houston

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Ray Bradbury died this past week at the age of 91.

As someone who values the written word and feels like the depreciation of literature over the past few decades is the leading cause of the dumbing down of American intellect, I can’t help but feel slightly angered by how little attention the passing of one of America’s greatest writers received from the media. I only heard about it because I just happened to be watching PBS news the day after his passing.

When Whitney Houston died, I couldn’t watch a television, listen to the radio, or visit a website without hearing all the vague details of her passing. When was the last time Houston was even relevant? 1998? Let me be blunt: Bradbury gave more to the world than Houston and his work will be read long after everyone has forgotten who Whitney Houston even was. She was nothing more than another sad celebrity who wasted her talent and submitted to the siren’s call of vice and self-destruction. Bradbury was a visionary, a prophet, and a wordsmith with few equals.

In Fahrenheit 451, a book that is (and should be) read in thousands of schools across this country, Bradbury predicted the invention of flat screen televisions, iPods, and blue tooth technology, in addition to predicting the decline of literature, the all-encompassing apathy of the American public, and the pandemic of entertainment-related obsessions fifty years before any of it actually happened. The world he describes is the world we live in today, which is ironic because the book serves as a warning of what NOT to become.

Maybe that would explain why Whitney Houston was mourned like the passing of a god while Bradbury’s death warranted nothing more than a blurb on the PBS news. As a country we’ve devolved into an entire population of Mildred Montags, mindlessly staring at our television or computer screens, our ears and minds barricaded from the outside world by the music pumping into our ears, as certain destruction hovers soundlessly over our heads, waiting to put an end to the nonexistent lives of millions of the living dead, human beings who are biologically alive but terrified of even the whiff of a thought or the tinge of an actual feeling.

How very sad that Ray Bradbury was so very right…

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~ by themoderntranscendentalist on June 10, 2012.

2 Responses to “Ray Bradbury > Whitney Houston”

  1. Excellent observations, Doug! I brought up Bradbury’s death during an admin meeting and no one seemed to know he had died. Sad.

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