The inspiration for one of the worst movies of all time (Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451) and a pretty good one (Disney's Something Wicked This Way Comes), and a bunch of better and worse books, has gotten into the Grandpa Simpson zone of Larry King-esque observational complaints. Here's author Ray Bradbury in hypoglycemic overload:
"We should never have left [the moon]. We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever."…
"I think our country is in need of a revolution," Bradbury said. "There is too much government today. We've got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people."…
"We have too many cellphones. We've got too many Internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now."…
"I was approached three times during the last year by Internet companies wanting to put my books" on an electronic reading device, he said. "I said to Yahoo, 'Prick up your ears and go to hell.' "
Thanks, Ray, for making your work more difficult to access, you Luddite old fart. Maybe we can just get Oskar Werner and Julie Christie to commit Dandelion Wine to memory and then keep them alive for all eternity.
UPDATE (August 17): I received the following note from Brick Wahl, the LA Weekly's jazz columnist, which I thought was worth posting in full (and even bumping the Shatneria down a bit):
I was at that Ray Bradbury event. My wife's a fan, I tagged along. It was in a wonderful old fashioned used book store, and was a very charming party full of long winded reminiscenences and toasts, and to be honest anything Ray said I have heard him say before. Nothing was new. Not a damn thing. He's been bitching about machines for his entire career (he wrote everything on a manual typewriter). He's always hated being called a science fiction writer. His government views have changed little. The moon stuff is not surprising…we've fallen decades behind schedule on that one compared to what was expected in the sixties, and he's frustrated not to have witnessed a mars landing. Hard to blame the man on that one. And even his plural internet is pefectly valid unless one pretends that all the intranets, some of them truly vast, are not actually internets…and of course Google is working on its own internet–not intranet–as we speak. He's hip enough to know that.
And that pic the Times used was not the beaming, laughing old gent who I watched on Sunday.
Alas, that badly written and edited blog entry in the LA Times has now become part of his legacy. The man is being trashed all over the web–like you have done–based strictly upon that little story. There's no turning back now. He'll be dead soon enough, and that bullshit story will long survive him, and will become him to many people. After all, they saw it on the internet, it has to be true.
And now back to the finale ultimo of the original post:
For your viewing pleasure, here's William Shatner in "The Playground," from the old Ray Bradbury Theater series ("exactly one-half exhiliration, exactly one-half terror"), which shows just how far premium cable has come, baby. Le Shat has never been better, except maybe in his all Esperanto showcase, Incubus, or possibly as Alyosha in The Brothers Karamazov. But what the hell: