Rest in Peace Ray Bradbury, Enemy of Political Correctness

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Exceptional Depravity, a new crime book, and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Movie Industry. He has written for City Journal California, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and many other publications.

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“For it is a mad world,” he wrote, “and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-heard or water-conservationist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics.”

Every book, Fahrenheit 451 showed, represents a person, and for Bradbury it was all very personal.

“If Mormons do not like my plays let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent typewriters. . . If the Chicano intellectuals wish to re-cut my ‘Wonderful Ice Cream Suit’ so it shapes ‘Zoot,’ may the belt unravel and the pants fall.” He wasn’t done yet.

“All you umpires, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers. It’s my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases. At sunset I’ve won or lost. At sunrise, I’m out again, giving it the old try.”

Ray Bradbury tried and succeeded, productive until the end. He has now departed and the world, as he warned in 1979, is a much madder place. More reason to re-read Fahrenheit 451, including the afterword, and oppose political correctness with the courage of the master himself.

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  • tagalog

    Everyone should read Something Wicked This Way Comes, preferably in their later high school years. Also The Martian Chronicles. And a whole lot of others. God bless Ray Bradbury. He and Asimov can play chess on a park bench in Heaven in the afternoons.

    • rick630c1

      He and Asimov can play chess on a park bench in Heaven in the afternoons.

      And Sagan can play the winner, lol.

  • Spider

    Bradbury was a true intellectual and I loved his books. Take heed America – many of his dire warnings about the dangers of political corrrectness and totaltarian thought are now coming true.

  • ISAIAH5417

    After reading Mr. Billingsley's report I can see why Ray Bradbury didn't get much airtime in the mainstream. It would have been very interesting to hear Saul Bellow & Ray Bradbury have a public discussion of cultural censorship. Let the light shine!

  • dmw

    In a Freshman English composition course I took back in 1967, we had to read 10 selected books. One of them was 'Fahrenheit 451'. Another selected work was 'Brave New World'. Strangely enough, the course was at a New Mexico college, New Mexico being the location of the 'Savage Reservation' of 'Brave New World'. I've forgotten a lot of the gibberish I learned back then. Thank God the curriculum developers at that college decided to use reading, discussion, and writing about those books to get across something else besides just composition.

  • Alex Kovnat

    Very willingly do I join all who are mourning the passing of Ray Bradbury. He lived a long and good life. I saw the movie Fahrenheit 451 several times.

    Let me give everyone here an example of political correctness at its most annoying and petty. My wife and I are square dancers. We've been at it since before we were married, which is over 30 years. One of the calls we've learned over the years was formerly called "half-breed through", which means you do one maneuver if your female partner is to your right, and another if she's to your left. Just last month, while the wife and I were at a state square dance convention in Ohio, we were told the name "half-breed through" was no longer being used, apparently because it offended someone or another's sensibilities. We now have to call it half-brace through. So you can see how petty the PC phenom is.

  • JoJoJams

    Somewhere in America, a boy tap-dances a on a tuned segment of discarded wooden sidewalk, calling his friends to run over the hills by moonlight…

    Out on the Veldt, the animals pause for a moment, as though something unseen had passed through their midst…

    Somewhere on Mars, a new silver fire is burning to welcome him…

    By the river, a Book stops it's recitation for the day, to remember a fine man who wrote such wonderous things.

    Thanks be, for Ray Bradbury, who taught me that there could be poetry in prose.

    • Tanstaafl

      Bravo! Well done!

  • tagalog

    The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury. The man could see the future on the personal scale better than Ayn Rand.

    • Vermont Yid

      Thanks for the reference to The Pedestrian. I had forgotten what a great story it is.

  • YetWave

    "All you umpires, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers. It’s my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases. At sunset I’ve won or lost. At sunrise, I’m out again, giving it the old try.”

    The credo of personal responsibility expressed for all to understand.

  • Toa

    I always appreciated this man; and the more I learned about him, the more I liked him.

    FPMers: do a search on "ray bradbury reagan clinton" and see what you come up with. Married to his wife from 1947 until her death in '03. If he had not been a tremendous and already-established talent, no doubt he would have become another casualty on the modern MSM's blackball list.

    Thank you, Mr. Bradbury…we'll miss you.

  • Ghostwriter

    I didn't read any of Ray Bradbury's books but I do remember him from an old series called "Ray Bradbury Theater." It was an anthology series that was around for a while. I don't remember the network it was originally on but I saw a little bit of it later on USA Network.