Posts Tagged With: Fahrenheit 451

Orwell’s Revenge

After President Trump’s advisor, Kellyanne Conway, made an odd comment about “alternative facts,” others quickly noted the similarity to the concept of “newspeak” in George Orwell’s classic, dystopian novel 1984. Newspeak was the language used to control and shape the thoughts of people. To be fair, terms like “fake news” and “alt-right” are also Orwellian, as well as how many in the media and Washington (from both sides) try to manipulate people and thoughts. Thanks to all of this, Orwell’s book, along with similar classics like A Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451, went to the top of bestseller lists.

And that made me laugh.

These are books on how governments, politicians and the media manipulate, control and monitor (Big Brother) the thoughts, beliefs and actions of the people.

Do the politicians and media really want the people reading these books? Do they want you to realize, that on a daily basis, that they have become what the Orwells of the world warned us about?

They may just have opened Pandora’s Box and there’s no closing that.

P.S. I had wondered if people even read these books in school anymore; perhaps these sales show they have not. It is also amusing to see the media and politicians lecturing us on truth, such as Dan Rather, who got himself in trouble for pushing “fake but accurate” news (talk about Orwellian). The media and politics are riddled with truthtwisters – perhaps Orwell will help more people realize this.

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Warnings from Mars

Ray Bardbury’s classic dystopian tale, Fahrenheit 451, is well known as a cautionary tale on censorship and the suppressing of knowledge. It is not his only warning on this danger. In The Martian Chronicles, in the chapter “April 2005 – Usher II,” this scene unfolds:

How could I expect you to know blessed Mr. Poe? …All of his books were burned in the Great Fire…He and Lovecraft and Hawthorne and Ambrose Bierce and all the tales of terror and fantasy and horror and, for that matter, tales of the future were burned. They passed a law. Oh, it started very small…[like] a grain of sand. They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another…there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.

These warnings, I think, must be taken seriously. Even now, I read of censorship on certain websites, politicians who openly call for suppression of certain views and venues, repeated attempts to control the internet. People who don’t think the suppression of their rights can occur in our age, need to wake up and listen to what Bradbury wrote decades ago.

It all can begin small. Like a grain of sand.

Categories: Books, Fiction, Modern History | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

If a Book Doesn’t Make You Think, What Good is it?

Controversial quotes from controversial books. Why would some see them disappear? Because they encourage people to think and question. They seek to remind people to not to blindly follow those who self-appointed greatness. And they tell us to pay attention who is behind the curtain.

All Quiet On The Western Front on cautioning us on what reasons we use to go to war:

At the next war let all the Kaisers, presidents and generals and diplomats go into a big field and fight it out first among themselves. That will satisfy us and keep us at home.

You still think it’s beautiful to die for your country. The first bombardment taught us better. When it comes to dying for country, it’s better not to die at all.

1984 on blindly giving away power and letting them win:

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.

The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.

Fahrenheit 451 on being engaged in the world and freedom of access to knowledge:

We need not to be let alone. 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?

A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man.

Atlas Shrugged on finding your Role in the Story of this life:

Do not let the hero in your soul parish, in lonely frustration, for the life you deserved but never have been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.

Fighting Slave of Gor (Book 14 of the Counter Earth Saga) on people allowing others define who they are and how to think:

Earthings…are manipulated organisms, helpless in the flow of social forces, slobbering to slogans and rhetoric. They will be the first to celebrate their own downfall. They will not discover what has been done to them until it is too late.

“A sexist is a sexist,” she said. “That is the logical truth,” I said. “An apple is an apple. This argument is not much advanced…[it] is a ‘signal word,’ a word selected for its emotive connotation, not its cognitive meaning. It is to be used as a slander tool to discourage questioning and discourage questioning and enforce verbal agreement…One of the great utilities of these words, long since evacuated of most of their cognitive content, is that they make thought unnecessary…”

Categories: Books, Critical Thinking, Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ray Bradbury, Legendary Writer, Dies

Few authors write for as long or as much. Fewer still become legends in their lifetime and see their works regarded as classics.

Ray Bradbury, author of the classic Fahrenheit 451, unforgettable stories like The Martian Chronicles and Dandelion Wine and thousands of short stories, died yesterday at age 91.

In an era where many authors come and go, an American Original has been lost.

Categories: Books, Fiction, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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