Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Friend Ray

I've loved Ray Bradbury ever since my 8th grade English teacher read "The Martian Chronicles" to us each day after lunch. Seems last Christmas we purchased a few Bradbury titles for Feche-boy, among them "Fahrenheit 451, which I read yesterday. Last year one of my fav books was "Amusing Ourselves to Death" which I think was another book that I loaned out so many times that I never did get it back. But, wow. F451 is just the fictionalized account of Neil Postman's excellent expose' on the direction our culture is not just going, but accelerating into at a speed comparable to lightening. Keep in mind that Bradbury wrote F451 in 1950 and like all really great sci-fi authors he ends up prophesying. The Coda is particularly telling as he speaks again in the 80's to all those voices who are sounding the death toll of logic, demanding political correctness and "fairness," that he re-write his great works to make them more PC. Again, like a true prophet he tells them all to take a flying leap after so rightly saying that "there is more than one way to burn a book." (pg 176)

As an aside I found it interesting that he echos Chaim Potok's apologetic regarding those missing in the world due to death, timely or otherwise, the euthanized, the aborted....
"I've never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands. He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on." .... how much more so times the 40 million souls lost to America alone due to the abortionists knife?

And finally this fine quote, towards the end of the book. "I hate a Roman named Status Quo! he said to me. 'Stuff your eyes with wonder, "he said, "live as if you' drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping it's life away. 'To h*ll with that' he said, 'shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his a**." Preach it baby.

KB spent the morning drinking deeply of the wisdom of our friend Ray, finished the book and then went on to Traditional Logic II studies. In chapter 6, which talks about third order Enthymemes she discovered that our brilliant writer friend was forcing the reader to draw their own logical conclusions after he had set forth two premises. Traditional Logic states, "An enthymeme is the most common form of an argument. An enthymeme is an argument that does not contain one of its premises, or which is missing the conclusion. Premises (and conclusions) are sometimes dropped from arguments because it is assumed the hearers already know them and that it is therefore unnecessary to state them.

I love it when life is serendipitous, even if the conclusion is no longer rightly assumed.

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