I had the honor of hearing Mr. Bradbury speak at Comicon just before he passed. Such a great mind, and great stories. My favorite story that he told that day was about being invited to Alfred Hitchcock’s house for dinner, a dinner where all of the food had been dyed purple to get a reaction out of the guests. I believe Mr. Bradbury’s reaction was to not eat much that night.
Bradbury was the rare combination of a thoughtful and entertaining writer. His inventive stories continue to inform most serious writers. His stories are classics more for what they say about us than the style in which they say it. That’s not to say that he wasn’t a great stylist. He opened windows of possibility with his mastery of language. With Bradbury, style was always secondary to the greatness of a story’s idea.
Bradbury was an astute examiner of human nature, an intellectual of the highest order (who never went to college), a warrior against ignorance. Let’s pay the man’s legacy of language a service by heeding his warnings about a future of docile servitude, watching big screen TV’s all day, and burning books in the name of management.
Let’s read and write, talk and share our ideas with the world. Let’s really think about what we are saying before we say it. Let’s at least consider changing our minds if it’s for the better. Writing formats may have changed a little since Bradbury’s day, but people reading and writing the words are mostly the same. Most people just want something better than what they have today. Let’s use our words to find a better way forward, together.