I saw in a recent interview that Ray wrote all those science fiction stories in the past to prevent the future. Many things he wrote about have come true in the present. And we all agree on it. But what do you mean by saying that Ray is supporting the shuttle program? I mean sure the shuttle program is terrific and we all need to know what's out there. But in most or all of Ray's space stories I've read there is a sad ending. A message that advanced technology causes destruction. Oh I might be way off but that's what I get out of it. I also heard Ray does not even fly. Well it's confusing for me but then again if Ray "claimed" that he doesn't support the shuttle program most people will think he is a lunatic.
[This message has been edited by Master Light (edited 02-26-2003).]
When Bradbury said he wrote to prevent the future, I think he meant that he wanted to prevent some futures that were bad/evil/non-actualizing, whatever. The future unfolds no matter what we do. The question lies in what direction the future will take. Will it promote humanity or will it destroy humanity? Bradbury tries to open our eyes to various possibilities. In a way, he posits possibilities and hopes we can learn from them.
As to the Shuttle program, Bradbury describes it as going round and round and not getting anywhere. He wants to see us go to Mars and beyond. He doesn't like us being trapped within our own atmosphere and planet. I have a more exalted view of it. I see us doing the Shuttle to advance our knowledge and our skills in getting into and out of the atmosphere (the dangerous part). For me the next step is a space station (which we are building) where man will learn to live in space. I see a colony on the moon next, where we can learn about interaction and existence in space long-term and working on other surfaces. I see it as part of a stepping stone.
Ray has a lot of sad endings, but he also affirms the good in man . . . his capacity to struggle, to strive, to learn, to love, to laugh and to endure.
Only in the last decade, therabouts, has Ray decided to fly with the airlines, at least before his stroke. In fact, the first time he flew, his picture was in TIME Magazine, with a stewardess consoling him as he gripped the armrest of his seat, and tried to smile for the camera. Since working for Disneyland in Paris, he usually took the train ....from LA to New York, and then took the ....Concorde to Paris.
His last holdout: He never has learned to drive a car!
Correct me if I am wrong, but one of the only ways Ray could make a flight is well oiled before lift-off to remove a bit of inhibition. When he realized his fears were founded on himself. Not the the ability of the crew or plane.?. He was ok. At this point in time though I hope he does not try driving in L.A. because if it would take any fortification to get behind the wheel of a car, I think a short conversation sitting in the driveway would be just as entertaining, and half as risky.
No offence intended to California drivers I hope. And I am not Trying to offend Ray's choice on driving. I'm sure if he were younger he might try out a Segway personal transport they look like future fun transportation.
Ray never desired to drive a car once he saw someone killed by a car in a terribly messy accident. Ray was very young at the time, and that one event did it for him with cars. Ray depends greatly on LA taxis.
My having lived in LA for about 18 years, I can say that the freeways in LA are plain nuts. Eighty miles an hour in 'Diamond Lanes' , where a car carrying more than 1 person can travel, and careening right next to a lane stopped for the backup of traffic, is completely unnerving. I've seen countless times ...people missing their off ramp, and backing up as fast as their car can go, and as slow as their car can go, and everything in between, towards the exist they missed. For, you see, if you miss a desired freeway exit in LA, you often wind up in Bakersfield, or maybe Nantucket. Who knows??
My theory is Ray witnessed that accident at just the crucial age, 15. At 9 or 10 he'd have had years to get over it and it might not have affected him the same. At 16 he'd have already been driving and overcome that hurdle. I've seen the LA freeway, ONCE, which was quite enough. I wouldn't drive there either.
I saw two car accidents when I was younger. In one, a car left the road, went through the air, and landed radiator-first on the other side of a large ditch. There was blood everywhere. In the second, a motorcyclist went through the side window of a car when the car ran a red light in front of him. These were when I was in about sixth grade. Since then, I have always had a great respect for the fact that cars can kill and maim. When I see people tailgating and compulsive lane-changing to save 30 seconds, it just drives me nuts. There is real risk there. A story by Robert Heinlein, "The Roads Must Roll" (or something like that) is about a future where death is just a part of the collateral damage of getting people around. We kill around 50,000 a year on our roads, yet there is no real debate about changing how we get around, or why we feel such a need to get around. We accept traffic fatalities as acceptable and necessary ollateral damage of freedom of movement. Ray is right to be nervous. When you combine this with carelessness and impatience, you have real human cost.
My daily trek for work is 25 miles to and 25 miles back, all open & quite rural passage. Time spent is about an hour for fifty miles total. Not bad, in view of the hours some spend sitting and waiting for the car in front of them to "inch" forward, so they can then do the same. For me it is not time wasted as I listen to music, sports, Lit. tapes, or just take in the scenery undisturbed.
[IE, Recent days: - We had a 24 hr. ice storm come through last week. It has stayed well below freezing for the past several days. Now everything (and I mean "everything") is covered in crystal clear ice, an inch or two thick, with just the slightest powdering of snow added. This topping off the two feet of snow accumulated throughout the winter.
At 6:30 am the sun rises on my left and bathes the landscape in yellow, orange, and red - all sparkling off trees, bushes, hillsides, and road signs, too. By 4 pm as I return home, the sun (behind me) is going down somewhat. The ice covering now creates a prism effect on the countryside. It was absolutely brilliant yesterday. It's as if diamonds are blossoming everywhere and in the dead of winter! Pretty amazing!] Anyhow.....
On more than one occasion I have driven the East Coast from just below the Canadian border to the tip of Key West, FL. Twice around the magnificent Gaspie Penisula and through the pristine Maritime Isles. We've traversed our continent - through the Mid-west, over the Rockies, into the colorful Southwest and visited Mexico. A number of years ago we drove the winding roads of France, Italy, and Switzerland.
Each venture has left its impression, but "none" as treacherous as the two experiences on the "White-knuckle Express" known as the California Freeway! Five lanes wide, bumper to bumper, 75+ mph, cutting and slashing, then complete stops for blocks of time, to then begin the race again at break neck speeds.
To me, a novice at such transportation patterns, it appears to be an unofficial Nascar testing ground for would be racers. Or maybe, to qualify for admittance on the carnival bumper-car ride!
I was amazed at how many cars carried only one person, with the "pool" lane lonely yet wide open for business. LA, Paris, Rome, and Mexico City seem to have the same driving school certification requirements.
In any case, Mr. Bradbury - in not getting his license - again reveals his understanding of what it takes to live forever. The lose of his childhood friend left an impression that never waned as time passed. "The Crowd," I believe addressed some of the psychology beneath his views on this. Another (futuristic) interpretation of cars and their role in society is F. Leiber's "X-Marks the Pedwalk."
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 02-27-2003).]
I have always found the Bradbury Theater version of "The Crowd" to be positively creepy. By the way, I always thought the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago was one of the most dangerous I've ever been on--I actually saw a car go airborne there during an accident. But after reading your descriptions of the L.A. expressways, I'd say you've got us beat!!
Dan Ryan, at least a stretch of it, is considered one of the most dangerous expressways in America. I haved taken it, and still do, to places to Indiana....
When I was 9 years old, went thru a windshield of my parents car, head on crash. Heard someone in the other car died. With all that trauma, No...I just had to buy a stupid sportscar when I was just 20, and ...poor car...it barely survived at least 3 crashes. See, some people learn late... I mean late....(last one I cracked up was, yep, on the LA freeway, approx. 1987, making a (surprise) 90 degree turnoff of the freeway at about 70. Guess what... No go!)
Abuse of power...that is the theme Ray is trying to get across... abuse of technology... Of course, this is a far ranging subject, that will in one way or another, always be abused....
Ray has written in "The Martian Chronicles"... the abuse damage to a foreign environment...the destruction of the Martians themselves by the simple presence of our own biology on another planet.
""Warnings"".... should be stamped on Bradbury stories... saying, Beware, Take Care, Don't be Foolish..... that is sort of the future Ray wants to prevent... making the reader aware to beware...
Now to get back to the beggining question of weather or not Ray attempted to prevent the future. I agree with Mr. Dark in saying that he tried to prevent the futures that he wrote about by writing about them. I do not agree that he didn't try to prevent future from coming. I believe that he didn't think he could prevent the future from coming but that did not stop him from trying. If you just sit around and do nothing you will gain nothing and that is a motif in many of his books. In doing this he also may of prevented many more than just the futures he thought of he may of prevented alot of very good futures as well as alot of very bad futures.
ok, i know this has nothing to do with the topics. you teachers and other people, if you type too much people won't bother to read it. so as a little bit of advice maybe you shouldn't write soo much, or you should try to say it in fewer words. That's all i have to say, cause i didn't read the posts because it was too much to read.
And God forbid you should have to read very much.
i take it back. I'll never say such a thing again!!!! you guys are more help than you could ever know and i'll read everything you guys say from now on, no matter how long it is. I PROMISE!!!!
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