Posts Tagged ‘Ray Bradbury’

Fahrenheit 451I sat in a movie theater re-reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for an hour before Prometheus began. Terrible decision. Turrible decision.

Fahrenheit 451 is a masterful clarion call from 1951 warning us about dumbed-down, soulless, unconscious modern life: quick electronic entertainment over real relationships; staying numb rather than asking real questions; doing things the same old way instead of seizing the now.

Bradbury was Socrates asking us to examine our lives, to think rather than follow the herd. Thoreau calling us to live authentically. Jesus raising our vision to much greater things. Buddha reminding us of the suffering of others and calling us to put our feet on the path to enlightenment.

Prometheus is no District 9, a sci-fi movie which understood that speculative fiction can be mindlessly entertaining and possess uplifting social consciousness. Prometheus is the kind of entertainment that could have played the role of antagonist in Fahrenheit. Not that there’s anything wrong with mindless entertainment now and then (for the record, I really enjoyed The Avengers). It’s just going to induce some of the best parts of your nature to snooze more deeply, particularly when the end product is mediocre. Storytellers, we can do better. Audiences and readers deserve better.

Prometheus features gorgeous special effects, it’s nice and subtle in 3-D, but it’s cheap horror in outer space. It’s Hollywood. It’s fine for what it is, which is a spinoff on Alien/Aliens (better movies). If that’s what you’re looking for, then go see Prometheus. Disposable, one-dimensional characters who prevent your suspension of disbelief? Likable characters who turn into invincible killer space gorillas? B-Grade horror movie flashbacks? Action without humor? Prometheus has all of that. Go see it.

Then, when you need to put the pieces of your soul back together (and you will–whether you realize it or not), do yourself a favor and read Fahrenheit 451 afterward.

That will blow your mind. Completely.

p.s. Please check out one of the best tributes to Ray Bradbury I’ve read this week, from Stephen Hubbard at BookReporter.com: Farewell, Ray.

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