Fahrenheit 451

People fear losing independence. They fear losing their bodies, their minds. While they fear dangerous entities or secret governments or oppressive systems, more than anything they fear losing power over themselves. Those organizations just tend to lie adjunct to those fears.

This is the root of all dystopian novels. The system may have shifted into something horrible, but the true horror is becoming something you’re not. And people will go to terrible lengths to preserve their souls.

In Fahrenheit 451, this meant hiding the bible under your bed and reading stories you don’t quite understand just to learn something different and purposeful about the world.

In Lathe of Heaven, this meant drugging yourself until your uncontrollable mind stopped ripping the world, your world, to shreds.

In Skyrim, this meant building secret shrines of Talos and being willing to die by Thalmor hands while praying at the altar.

Wednesday May 15th, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed an anti-abortion law that would ban abortion in almost all cases, save when a mother’s life was in jeopardy. While Roe v. Wade has been in effect around the nation since 1973, allowing first-trimester abortions for any woman, this law changes that for Alabama women. Now they or even the doctors performing the procedure could go to jail.

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With news items pertaining to an increasing number of Americans thinking a college education is a waste of money, it’s hard to think a more prescient film currently in development than Fahrenheit 451. The new HBO movie is based on the classic dystopian novel written by legendary sci-fi author Ray Bradbury in 1953 about a world where firemen don’t put out fires, they start them, burning all the books responsible for subversive thoughts that undermine the state, which is all of them by the way. Now, a new image shows firemen Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon in action. (more…)

It seems like something that you would only read when forced to for high school English class, but can you think of a better book-to-screen adaptation worth doing right now than Ray Bradbury‘s Fahrenheit 451? Okay, so George Orwell’s 1984 might make the first round draft pick, but Fahrenheit would definitely make the top three. Bradbury’s warning about the crush of culture, the dangers of distraction, and the attack on the importance of being well-informed is chock full of very ripe thematic material, which is probably why HBO has now got a lock on a new adaptation featuring a pair of very talented actors in the main roles.  (more…)