Saturday, June 25, 2005

... hotter than a match head ...

Fahrenheit 98. Too hot to do anything but ramble through the dim and dusty corridors of the mind, fighting through the cobwebs, seeking mental coolth.

Fahrenheit 451 was a favorite of my youth; I had joined one of those wretched book clubs where you could get 6 books for 1 cent, and it was one of the few choices that pleased me, because I had read previous Ray Bradbury efforts and enjoyed them. The theme bore especial significance for me, for even at the tender age of 11, I had discovered that books contained multitudes of worlds that begged visitation, and they kept me entranced for hours on end. The very thought that the events depicted in the book might actually transpire in some shadowy future was horrifying to me. The most terrible scene, in which Montag feels compelled to reevaluate his life, was the vision of the elderly woman futilely attempting to protect her lifetime accumulation of precious books from the fascistic aims of the firemen.

I shudder every time I hear someone condemn reading material. The book-burners, of course, have ever been among us, and on occasion they have achieved a fleeting triumph. Their motivations are somewhat of a mystery to me; I can only presume that they are afraid of the freedom of thought that books represent.

By the same token, I am dismayed whenever attacks upon the media occur, because as lacking in quality as some media organizations appear to be today, owned as most of them are by corporations, there exist still enough dedicated individuals within these organizations who care about their profession, and who try to provide a modicum of decent reportage upon which we citizens depend.

The latest attempts to discredit the media (and yes, I do see a conspiracy here) are reprehensible to me. Without the checks and balances provided by a free press, the republic, our democracy, may eventually be trodden under by those who wish to keep us ignorant and repressed.

I'm sorry. This seems to be my day to fulminate. It must be the heat. Once again, thanx for listening.



1 comment:

sistercdr said...

The heat has driven me indoors, where I've been reading and wondering what to do with the clutter of books in every room.  They truly are my treasures. I've wondered quite a few times what book I would become if I had lived in Montag's world, and every time I've fallen asleep with the tv on, I'm reminded of sets that couldn't turn off.  I get angry with the media, but only because I know that they're capable of so much more.  I dread what it would be like to live in a world without it though.