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Revolution 451


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American Spectator:

Revolution 451
By Daniel J. Flynn on 8.20.10 @ 6:09AM

Ray Bradbury, perhaps America's most popular and prolific short-story writer, turns ninety on Sunday. As a twentysomething wannabe writer in the 1940s, Bradbury cared too much about what critics thought of him. As he approaches his tenth decade, Bradbury clearly could not care any less.

"I think our country is in need of a revolution," Bradbury told the Los Angeles Times earlier this week. "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." Bradbury's short-story broadsides against modern gadgets, the all-intrusive state, and political correctness foreshadowed his current outlook. Calling Bill Clinton a "sh--head" and Michael Moore an "a--hole" have been less subtle indications.

Cell phones, virtual reality, and the Walkman lived in Bradbury's science fiction before they became our science fact. But where he has proven a true prophet is in his cautionary tales about parenthood by proxy. In "Zero Hour" (1947), parents, happy to have their kids out of their hair, reap what they sow when their out-of-site-out-of-mind children aid and abet an alien invasion. In "The Veldt" (1950), a couple farms out their parental duties to a nursery that projects the imagination of the children onto three-dimensional walls. When the parents seek to shut off the hi-tech playroom, the children imagine their parents dead -- a wish their African Veldt fantasyland enthusiastically grants. The "nothing's too good for our children" refrain of the parents in "The Veldt" foreshadowed the generational rebellion of the following decade that witnessed spoiled kids turning on befuddled parents.snip
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