Horror: Is it News?

Fahrenheit 451

Chemical attacks in Syria, denials on all sides, suicide bombers, domestic shooters, protests and marches, trade wars, and very few willing to consider compromise due to their political views (influenced by Facebook’s polarization filters.) Add Stormy Daniels and stormy weather, with televangelists profiled on American Greed, and you have either chaos as modus operandi, or cause for employing more satirists. Video gaming is thriving, as more people seek to escape reality. (Read “Reality is Broken” by Jane McGonagal.) But it’s not all bad. They just don’t report the good, much. It’s tacked onto the end of the network news, along with ads for junk food and prescription drugs. They know what pays the bills (sex and violence), but they don’t want you to leave depressed. Neither do I


Ray Bradbury was a mentor to many writers, including Stephen King. (He answered every letter I wrote to him as a beginning teen writer, inspired by his stories.) Dozens of movies and plays and TV shows were based on his books. He was consultant on Disney World, and was an icon not just in the world of science fiction. (Many of his stories were published in magazines that never published fiction, much less science fiction. Like Reader’s Digest and Life, not to mention three of the four first issues of Playboy.) His vision was timeless and universal, like the music of Chopin. HBO is producing Fahrenheit 451 once again for May 2018. The original classic movie had a modern retelling in the Christian Bale movie Equilibrium, which was great despite losing money. (Everything is about money and sports, these days. Fewer people read, while the media chases viral videos and McNews, which Bradbury called “factoids.”) Ray predicted many things that have happened in technology, including drones and driverless cars, but once said that his job was not to predict the future so much as “to prevent it.” That future is here. Television and “vid screens” have taken over the world, while “A world that reads less becomes more violent.”

Christian Bale




Saddened to hear of the death of Ray Bradbury. He was a child at heart, a genius, an inspiration. Here is the poem he sent me once, besides answering every letter I wrote him as a young beginning writer in awe of his stories. He was the real deal. Fantastic, universal, with an unerring sense of what matters most in the human heart.

Ray Bradbury

Jonathan Lowe


by Jonathan Lowe