[Bradbury] opposed the kind of technology that deadened imagination, the modernity that would trash the past, the kind of intellectualism that tried to centrifuge out awe and beauty. He famously did not care to drive or fly, but he was a passionate proponent of space travel, not because of its practical benefits but because he saw it as the great spiritual endeavor of the age, our generation’s cathedral building, a bid for immortality among the stars.That's nice. I respect the art and aesthetics. But back away from the government. Do not lay your hands on the people's money to pay for your nostalgic, utopian trips to Mars. Keep dreaming your dreams and penning your stories, but do not use tax money to make these things real. Trips to Mars belong in the same category with the high-speed rail.
His visions of a better world weren’t high-tech but archaic, bucolic. In “Fahrenheit,” Montag remembers “a farm he had visited when he was very young, one of the rare few times he had discovered that somewhere behind the seven veils of unreality, beyond the walls of parlors and the tin moat of the city, cows chewed cud and pigs sat in warm ponds at noon and dogs barked after white sheep on a hill.” His utopia isn’t some flying city or exotic planet but prewar, small-town America — specifically, Waukeagan, Ill., circa 1928, a town of porch swings and bandshells, dandelion wine stored up in cool cellars and fire balloons on the Fourth of July. His Martians are not alien like Heinlein’s or futuristically evolved like Welles’s but a premodern people akin to the ancient Egyptians or American Indians (or a boy’s idealized conception of them), our superiors not technologically but spiritually. He was, like most of my favorite artists, a misanthropic humanist.
June 8, 2012
"Put me in a room with a pad and a pencil and set me up against a hundred people with a hundred computers - I'll outcreate every goddamn sonofabitch in the room."
Said Ray Bradbury, in a 1998 interview, quoted in a new NYT op-ed, by the writer Tim Kreider, who says: