In Defense of Ray Bradbury

As long as we're talking books for a while, did you ever read the final chapter from A Clockwork Orange? I'm talking about the restored version of the book. If you haven't, you're in for a treat. Alex, our humble narrator, decides to go another way...
 
It's been about 20 years since I read it, and I have no memory of it being a restored version, so I'm not sure it was. I'll have to check that out. I did like the book, though learning an imaginary urban slanguage gave me a bit of a pain in the gulliver.
 
Quickly, the 21st chapter was left out of the book by the U.S. publisher for some stupid editorial reasons. The English author was strapped for cash so he went along with it. He needed the money more than the integrity of the book at that time. The movie by Kubrick doesn't include the 21st chapter conclusion either. An historian at the Anthony Burgess foundation restored the novel the way he believed Burgess would have. He used the originally published unedited volume along with Anthony Burgess's hand written original manuscript as a guide. I don't know why the original unedited version is not available in the U.S. but the "restored" version is.
 
I have not read any of the books but I have enjoyed some of the movies based on his work. I watched Fahrenheit 451 (1966) about two months ago. But Ray Bradbury Theatre's A sound of thunder is one of my favorite shorts ever.
 
Last edited:
Yeah, a sound of thunder is good. It's such a seminal work, where you can watch 70 different sci fi movies and hear them recycling lines from this story.
 
Star Trek is the middle ground, where sci fi was most effectively packaged for mainstream audiences, having a mix of the qualities that made both the thought provoking and imaginative scenarios of classic sci fi and the reliable pacing of modern television work.

Anyway, yeah, the sci fi section, and libraries in general, aren't what they used to be.

I try to read books now, but it's much more difficult after recalibrating my attention span to activities like storming Normandy beach in VR.

Fortunately, I did read several thousand books before the internet destroyed my attention span. There's a lot I'm sure I missed out on, but I did at least finish the top 100 in each category at least. Full disclosure, I skipped romance novels, and those 16 page sections of all the Tom Clancy books where someone would grab a military spec doorknob, and he would stop and describe every pin and tumbler inside the lock, because once something is military, it just becomes supernaturally interesting of course.
@Nate North, I agree with you on Star Trek, and I've also noticed that I don't read books, because the internet destroyed my attention span.
 
@Nate North, I agree with you on Star Trek, and I've also noticed that I don't read books, because the internet destroyed my attention span.
I looked for an emoji that represented a grim, joyless, acceptance of the new reality, but for some reason it was missing. I think we all suffer from this same symptom. Society has overloaded it's own input channels, and everyone's attention span is very short now.

I used to sit calmly through an hour long symphony on a regular basis, appreciating the nuances of the first chair cellist performance as it seamlessly blended in variations on the theme from a previous movement. Now it feels like an eternity waiting for a gun to reload. I've actually checked my phone for text messages because I got bored while switching magazines.

In case you have not seen what the average 30 something does for fun now, this video below is just a standard recording of one of the most common daily activities worldwide. In example I fight in this particular arena a few dozen times a week, as do over 300 million others. When 10 people with machine guns are closing in on you from different directions, a second seems like an eternity, and your brain just gets used to that pace. When I fry an egg in a frying pan, it now feels like I'm watching the directors cut of Lawrence of Arabia.

I worry about the future. Human brains weren't really built for this, it's just an evolution of companies trying to one up each other, in the form of faster and faster paced action, more content, more dopamine. In 2000, some people broke into my building, and tried to rob us at gunpoint. The police caught them in the act because we had a security system, and the news called the next day. I told them that I was still trying to deal with the panic this had caused amongst my workers, and they told me that tomorrow would be too late to do the interview. That a group of armed men breaking into a business on main street in broad daylight with the intent of robbing and killing the owner (me) would be "old news" 24 hours after it happened. The next day I saw the news, and everyone had forgotten about the attempted murder, and they ran a segment about the return of pumpkin spice latte to a local restaurant. That was 20 years ago.

This clip represents the attention span of the average Gen x person now. No hyperbole here, this is literally one of the most popular activities worldwide today.

 
Top