A disturbing juxtaposition.
25 March 2013
This may be a bit heavy for a Monday, but if you're looking for some disturbing reading to put together (and therefore make it even more disturbing), you might try Ray Bradbury's classic novel Fahrenheit 451 and this latest article from Matt Taibbi.*
For whatever reason I decided last week it was time to re-read Fahrenheit 451, as I think I first (and last) read it in seventh or eighth grade. I'm not all the way through, but it's been interesting. I wish I'd kept a journal way back when, recording what I thought about this book, because I always remembered liking it and being struck by it, but I can't for the life of me remember WHY. And I suspect it has been a very different reading experience this time around, reading it as an adult.
This was one of the many parts that struck me, from the book:
"The bombers crossed the sky and crossed the sky over the house, gasping, murmuring, whistling like an immense, invisible fan, circling in emptiness. 'Jesus God,' said Montag, 'Every hour so many damn things in the sky! How in hell did those bombers get up there every single second of our lives! Why doesn't someone want to talk about it?'"
And from the article:
"The idea that we have to beg and plead and pull Capra-esque stunts in the Senate just to find out whether or not our government has "asserted the legal authority" (this preposterous phrase is beginning to leak into news coverage with alarming regularity) to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil [using drones] without trial would be laughable, were it not for the obvious fact that such lines are in danger of really being crossed, if they haven't been crossed already."
In both: the theme of "not wanting to know" is a disturbing one. And yet, I know why we don't want to look and don't want to know. We're tired and we've got to go to work and get the kids fed and I think the brakes are going on the car and Christ, how am I going to pay that $5000 medical bill that wasn't covered? I get it. But I salute both Bradbury and Taibbi for asking: what will it take to make us LOOK?
*Stick with the article. It's long but worth it.