fahrenheit 98.6 and dropping

Hey Liberals, Your Beloved Ray Bradbury Thought Reagan Was Greatest And The Best

Something wickedHey all you stupid liberals who love “books” and “reading” and “Ray Bradbury,” and whose Twitter feeds yesterday STOPPED TIME in its TRACKS at the news that the 187-year-old author of Something Wicked This Way Comes had finally succumbed to oldness in Los Angeles. Guess what? Ray Bradbury hated you! Or at least he hated Bill Clinton (which is not the same as hating liberals, but whatevs) and LURVED Ronnie Raygun, lurved him so much, wanted to French kiss him for being the greatest president and giving the taxes back to the people. There. Are you sad now? Did we make you weep into your fruit-juice-sweetened tofu muesli? Fuckin’ crybabies.

From Washington Whispers:

On Reagan: “Reagan was our greatest president. He lowered our taxes and gave the money back to the people.” – At Comic-Con in 2010

It’s okay, though, don’t fret overly. He was probably just totally shitballs nuts.

[WashingtonWhispers]

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Rebecca is the editor and publisher of Wonkette. She is the author of Commie Girl in the O.C., a collection of her OC Weekly columns, and the former editor of LA CityBeat. Go visit her Commie Girl Collective, and follow her on the Twitter!

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200 comments

    1. James Michael Curley

      Philip Jose Farmer, who wrote Venus on the Half-Shell under the name Kilgore Trout admitted to using 'Trout' to sign several letters he send to several newspapers around the country criticizing Nixon after the 'Vietnamization' speech of 1969.

      Vonnegut apparently had a fit when the first letters appeared, but communicated with Farmer and gave him permission to write "Venus" I should read it some day. But I couldn't get easily through a 'Riverworld' book, hated the treatment he did of Samuel Clemmens and have little or no memory of even finishing the book,

      1. Pop_Socket

        The pissing match between the two is legendary and Farmer comes off as a bit of a dick. That said, I used to use 'Kilgore Trout' as my name at fraternity parties I didn't want anybody to know me." No one ever got the joke.

      2. MittBorg

        That's funny. I had a lot of trouble with Riverworld, and as a result, completely gave up on Farmer. Samuel Clemens put the stake through his heart for me.

      3. George Skullfry

        "Venus" is a lot shorter and far more Vonnegutian than any Riverworld episode.

    1. sewollef

      In actual reality, his alleged inspiration was the 1983 ABC teevee movie he watched called, The Day After. It was about er, the day after a nukuler attack and it scared the bejeesus out of the guy.

      The whole armageddon thing was one of his main issues from start to finish of his presidency. Well, that and raising taxes 6 out of 8 years of his presidency that is.

      1. Wile E. Quixote

        Don't forget massive deficit spending as another issue of the Reagan presidency. I remember reading somewhere that Reagan got the idea for the "Star Wars" program from a film he was in, 1940's Murder in the Air which featured Reagan as Secret Service agent Brass Bancroft who was charged with protecting a new weapon the Navy had developed, the inertia projector. With Reagan though who the fuck knows.

  1. Gratuitous World

    "Reagan gave the money back to the people." science fiction is the only way to properly rationalize Trickle Down.

    and i'm talking hard sci-fi, not that kiddie bullshit

  2. Goonemeritus

    Yes and the Ramones were Libertarian nut jobs this is why I try as hard as I can to learn as little as possible about the people whose work I admire. Thanks Wonkette for once again stealing the jelly out of my doughnut.

    1. tihond

      Wasn't it just that one Ramone? Pretty sure Joey was a bleeding heart and Johnny was a conservative. "The KKK Took My Baby Away" was about Johnny stealing Joey's girlfriend.

      1. actor212

        Yea, it was Johnny. The rest of the band wanted the album "Bonzo Goes To Bitburg." Johnny was the one who got the name changed for the American release.

    2. Steverino247

      A JELLY DOUGHNUT?! Are you allowed to have a jelly doughnut in the barracks, Goonemeritus?

    3. Lascauxcaveman

      I was a Libertarian back when I was listening to the Ramones, back in college. Sometimes we outgrow our sophomoric political views, if not your taste in rawk.

      1. MittBorg

        His politics suck, and Dilbert long ago ceased to be funny. I wonder which came first. He's a libertardian misogynist with some strange ideas.

          1. MittBorg

            I'm a generous individual. Srsly, though, Adams has a long history of provocateurism. He must have a microweenie because half his life seems to consist of posting highly inflammatory things and then attempting to prove how much more brilliant he is than his detractors/readers/fans/fellow-humans. That's all it is. He's never actually said he doesn't believe in evolution that I recall, although he often posts titles like "Fossil Evidence is Bullshit," and so forth.

          2. Opportunisticly_Joe

            Which one did you stumble upon first, the "Evolution is false, because MIND POWERS" thing, or the "It's a natural instinct for men to rape women, and therefore we shouldn't blame them, because evolution" thing. I mean, the former is completely Timecube-insane, whereas the latter is simply odious, and also crazy.

            The best, though, is if you take the two of them together. "Evolution is false, because we evolved because of MIND POWERS, which is why men rape women, because they used their MIND POWERS to evolve that way, on purpose, so it's really not their fault."

            So, yeah, it's possible that MittBorg is right and Scott Adams is really just the best troll, but suffice it to say that either way, he's a complete shithead.

  3. memzilla

    “Reagan was our greatest president. He lowered our taxes and gave the money back to the people.”

    Well, an author who wrote about alternate universes, who was almost 90 years old, might be forgiven for confusing them with reality.

    But maybe he didn't. After all, if Corporations=People, then his statement was tongue-in-cheek true.

  4. Barb

    Reagan was my absolute favorite Alzheimer's President. Hands down, no comparisons, no doubt.

    1. memzilla

      Reagan was the Rethuglican experiment in extending human life with virgin blood, organ harvesting (China!), and monkey glands. It worked well enough for Reagan and Cheney, but it's too resource-demanding; that's why they're going with cyborg technology now for Rmoney.

          1. Pop_Socket

            Skull and Bones I believe, but you can't convince me any women at Late Night Shots are virgins unless the backseats of cars don't count.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Would that be the same Robert A. Heinlein who was also a such a flaming liberal during the 1930s who supported Upton Sinclair?. I don't think that Heinlein would have much use for today's libertarians or conservatives, he was a lot more cynical about corporations than they are, read Friday for his description of a dystopian future largely run by corporations and he also believed in serving your country. A man who spent much of World War II trying to get back into uniform after being retired for disability is not a man who would have a lof of sympathy for the Jonah Goldbergs of the world and their litany of lame excuses.

          1. Wile E. Quixote

            You have to admire a guy who could write a novel like Brave New World years before he ever dropped acid.

        1. Wile E. Quixote

          Dude, calling Heinlein a fascist is as stupid and ignorant as calling President Obama a socialist. I mean really, that approaches Jonah Goldberg levels of stupidity and ignorance. Go wash your mouth out with Robert A Paxton's The Anatomy of Fascism.

        2. Wile E. Quixote

          But yeah, the whole "Lazarus Long fucks his mom" thing creeped me out when I first read Time Enough for Love when I was 13 and still creeps me out. I think that's a prime example of a writer who has become so prominent that no one dares edit their work. Heinlein needed an editor who was willing to say "Bob, this thing where Lazarus fucks his mom, yeah I'm blue-pencilling that, and don't give me any shit about your four Hugo awards either."

          1. HistoriBarb

            That's not the only story where he visits incest – can't remember titles but three or four of his stories dip into that well.

        3. Wile E. Quixote

          Say what you will about fascist, libertarian swinging, at least it's an ethos.

    2. vulpes82

      I'm friends with a great-nephew of Heinlein's. He's a commie pinko gay Marine who fucked most of gay NYC in the 80s and 90s whilst high on meth. Not really relevant, but I wanted to put that out there.

  5. 1stNewtontheMoon

    Newsflash: Crazy old (dead) white man believed Reagan was the awesomest.

    (Smaller type font: Shares his belief with crowd of younger crazy white furries at annual San Diego convention.)

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Whoa, I saw your username and read "furries" and for some reason flashed on an image of Newt and Callista going at each other in full, furry regalia. Does this mean I should increase the medication or lower the dosage?

        1. Wile E. Quixote

          If I get comfortable with those images I'm flushing this shit down the toilet and filing an adverse event report with the FDA.

  6. didgen

    RIP Ray, you and all the others writing about better worlds got me through an endless nightmare of childhood. I forgive you your old timer views.

  7. joshleefolsom

    He mellowed into a knee-jerk conservative like many of our old people do; he did an interview later in life where he said Fahrenheit 451 was NOT about censorship, it was about television. OK, nice try, old man, you can renounce your youthful wisdom, but you can't change it now.

    1. actor212

      I'm not sure about that, tho. He seemed to be pretty libertarian his entire life. F451 was not so much about censorship as it was about dumbing people down deliberately, and removing individuality from society by forcing the TeeVee on it

      Pretty prescient, that.

      The one trope he regrets was left out of Truffaut's movie that was in the book was the Mechanical Dog, which was to represent the advances of technology that crowd out humanity. The book ends with Montag barely escaping the Dog, which was a metaphor for the triumph of the human.

  8. actor212

    Did you know Ray Bradbury never learned to drive a car, because he saw six people die in a crash when he was sixteen?

    If only he'd seen the millions who have died as a result of Reagan's policies.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      I voted for Reagan in 1984 and haven't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since then. I think that this proves the old dictum about "as the twig is bent so grows the bough" and also ties in with Jonah Goldberg's assertion that youngs are ignorant dipshits.

  9. James Michael Curley

    His stories were good. His writing level was such that you could get through it at 11 and still enjoy it when you revisited it at 30. My father like Reagan and he's dead too.

  10. boobookitteh

    So what? Obama basically is Reagan. Don't know where these people are getting 'socialist liberal' from.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      That's unfair to President Obama. Sure, he bends over and grabs his ankles every time someone in a uniform walks into the room and says "Hey, let's shred some more civil liberties" but unlike Reagan he's not playing bullshit math games with his budget and he's still in touch with reality.

      1. MittBorg

        Universe > Heinlein.

        Let's be honest here. Heinlein couldn't write worth shit. However, he was an engineer and had a scientific background, so he wrote about that, and included pretty girls with big boobs and dark-skinned people who longed to give their lives for their leader, usually named "Whitey," or something like that. It sold.

          1. scvirginia

            No? I thought that was the reason for those strange creases on his Mom jeans…

          2. Wile E. Quixote

            Have I told you recently how awesome you are? Because that's pretty fucking awesome, as was "we can suck it for you wholesale". I mean I was going to go with Mormon Time-Slip or The Man in the High Castle With a Car Elevator but Jesus, why bother? I got nothing here. I confess, I'm a crap artist. Oh wait, that's lame too.

  11. elburritodeluxe

    In fact, Fahrenheit 451 has actually become a kind of manifesto for conservatives, though not in the way you would hope.

    1. Opportunisticly_Joe

      It's actually kinda funny, I often ridicule right-wing critiques of dystopian novels, because the start and end of the criticism is "THIS BOOK IS ABOUT HOW BIG GOVERNMENT IS WRONG". But apparently, in Bradbury's case, he has apparently also pretty much said that Farenheit is actually about how big government and socialism and political correctness are bad, and not actually about how anti-intellectualism is a tool of oppression, even though that was pretty obviously the actual point.

      1. actor212

        But if he admitted that, the natural follow up question would be, "Well, then how do you square your feelings with the fact that conservatives have been trying to dumb down Americans by removing science from the national dialogue and substituting religion?"

        Neat side-step, that. Ignore the premise, so you can ignore the conclusion that F451, while ultimately a libertarian's machine gun, is really pointed squarely at his own side.

  12. BaldarTFlagass

    “Reagan was our greatest president. He lowered our taxes and gave the money back to the people borrowed a bunch of money and expanded the deficit and gave all the borrowed money to the Department of Defense.”

    Fixed that for ya, Ray.

  13. Doktor StrangeZoom

    Let's not forget Bradbury's defense of Robert Packwood's sexually harassing an office worker, telling Bill Maher that groping a pretty girl is just what any virile man would do. He also said that he'd sexually harassed a pretty young thing until she finally agreed to marry him.

    Meh. I loved his writing, but the more I found out about the man himself, the more disappointed I was. I'd expect that kind of shit from a Heinlein, but not from someone whose writing seemed so humane. It was as if Vonnegut had gone on TV and said "You know, maybe bombing the shit out of all those Vietnamese was a good idea after all."

    1. Mumbletypeg

      Lord. Packwood. I'd forgotten all about that old cuss. Trying to remember if he came on to women with menace-laced chat he'd convinced himself came across as Rico Suave, or did he get busted just for flat-out pawing at anything that moved?

    2. actor212

      He kinda fleshed that out in the Playboy interview (I think it was Playboy) where he talked about how Packwood was about the only Senator who was four-square behind NASA and space exploration.

      Weak beer, if you ask me. Actually, I think it stands objectively as a shameless attempt at hiding behind NASA's skirts.

      1. Doktor StrangeZoom

        And while he's down there, nothing wrong with copping a feel.

        "Shut up, ya bitch, it's only a bit of fun."

      2. Wile E. Quixote

        I refer to that sort of thing as the "Hitler built the Autobahns and loved dogs" defense.

    3. Wile E. Quixote

      Why would you expect it from Heinlein? Here's what Philip K. Dick wrote about Heinlein in The Golden Man.

      "Several years ago, when I was ill, Heinlein offered his help, anything he could do, and we had never met; he would phone me to cheer me up and see how I was doing. He wanted to buy me an electric typewriter, God bless him—one of the few true gentlemen in this world. I don't agree with any ideas he puts forth in his writing, but that is neither here nor there. One time when I owed the IRS a lot of money and couldn't raise it, Heinlein loaned the money to me. I think a great deal of him and his wife; I dedicated a book to them in appreciation. Robert Heinlein is a fine-looking man, very impressive and very military in stance; you can tell he has a military background, even to the haircut. He knows I'm a flipped-out freak and still he helped me and my wife when we were in trouble. That is the best in humanity, there; that is who and what I love."

      1. Doktor StrangeZoom

        See, there you go–based solely on his writing, I'd assume him to be a misogynistic dick. And then he turns out to be a swell guy.

        OK, then. Maybe it's the sort of thing I'd expect from Harlan Ellison, who everyone agrees is a dick. Though there again, maybe not a groper.

      2. MittBorg

        I hate Heinlein's writing. It was misogynistic, racist, homophobic, trite, cliched, yada yada. But it seems that, his literary sins aside, he was a fine human being. Just the fact that he was willing to help someone he barely knew who needed it speaks to his decency.

    4. MissNancyPriss

      You guys have me doing all kinds of googling tonight. Learning lots of neat stuff.

  14. Serolf_Divad

    Reagan was our greatest resdent, and the magic asterisk the bestest invention EVER! t's why we have budget surplusses as far as the eye can see into the future and absolutely no debt!

    1. James Michael Curley

      Vonnegut, in his later years, used to sign everything with a 'magic asterisk'.
      *

        1. James Michael Curley

          When he lived in NYC Vonnegut’s daughter was attending a school for special needs children on 78th Street. He was often seen haunting the neighborhood. He would wander up to the school from the 3rd. Ave subway exit and sit on the stoop until his daughter came out. My wife and son and I talked to him at length once. Finally, once, asked him for an autograph. This would be 1990 about.

          1. MittBorg

            Assholes! I must've been thirteen, and I laughed so hard I thought I was going to choke and die and be discovered all stiff and blue lying on top of that book with the page open at ASSHOLES! By my parents, who would have revived and then re-killed me!

  15. Oblios_Cap

    Bradbury had nothing on Niven:

    Niven was an adviser to Ronald Reagan on the creation of the Strategic Defense Initiative anti missile policy, as covered in the BBC documentary Pandora's Box by Adam Curtis.

    In 2007, Niven, in conjunction with a group of science fiction writers known as SIGMA, led by Pournelle, began advising the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as to future trends affecting terror policy and other topics.

    One of his suggestions as a member of SIGMA was that hospitals stem financial losses by spreading rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants, in order to reduce illegal immigrants' use of emergency rooms.

    1. actor212

      I was not surprised that Pournelle and Niven were the instigators of this. The list of advisors is pretty lengthy, tho, and has some surprising names on it (like Joe Haldeman.)

      Niven and Pournelle wrote a science fact book in the late 70s, and among their ideas, at least two seem to be coming to fruition now. But the book was really about exploiting space for money, which was kind of scary.

    2. James Michael Curley

      SIGMA Isn't that the medical term for that oily stuff you find under your foreskin?

    3. Wile E. Quixote

      Niven has turned into a real piece of shit as a writer too. He doesn't have any more good ideas so he's farmed his novels out to a bunch of fans to let them write novels which amount to nothing more than bad fanfic with his name on it. The last decent thing he wrote was The Integral Trees.

      1. Estproph

        Yes, this. And here's the thing: a Bradbury novel was about humans exploring an alien environment, or the interaction between himans and aliens, or the interaction between humans and their technology. A Niven novel is about an alien environment. Too often the characters are backdrop to the scenery.

    4. MittBorg

      I remember hearing about that, but paid no attention to it, since most of the writers seemed to be washed-up old hacks, nothing like the Chiang Feng-nan, China Mieville, Cory Doctorow, exciting young writers.

      Larry Niven. What a piece of scum.

  16. Estproph

    I was disappointed to find out that the man who wrote "A Sound Of Thunder" really didn't understand "A Sound Of Thunder".

  17. DocChaos

    Bradbury was just ahead of his time, understanding that in the near future it will be a thought crime not to think Reagan was the bestest president ever.

    1. sewollef

      When Reagan left office his approval rating was lower than Carter's, lower than Clinton's. By the end, most Americans liked the man, hated his policies.

      And Iran-Contra made the Watergate break-in look like a simple burglary. Reagan should have been impeached for basically treating the constitution as an inconvenience to be brushed aside. He deliberately defied Congress to supply weapons to drug runners and killers, referring to the Contras as Latin America's Founding Fathers.

      Meanwhile, Oliver North should never have seen the outside of a prison cell after his crimes.

  18. Doktor StrangeZoom

    On t'other hand, John Scalzi has an awfully nice remembrance of Bradbury the writer, a reprint of his introductory essay for a recent reissue of The Martian Chronicles.

    Pretty much sums up the whole "Sensawunda" thing that really good SF, read at a young age, can impart.

    I can separate some people from their views, if they've done admirable stuff in other realms. Hell, Lindberg was a goddam Nazi, but that doesn't make his solo flight across the Atlantic any less of an achievement. Made him less of a human being, but still one hell of an aviator.

  19. Mumbletypeg

    Did Bradbury earn anything royalties-by-association-wise, or just nod with permission-granted acquiesence, to Michael Moore's adapting his famous title into "Fahrenheit 9/11"?

    No snark; it's something I was actually wondering.

    1. Doktor StrangeZoom

      Actually, he hated Moore's nod to his title, and IIRC, tried to sue Moore over it. But titles can't be copyrighted.

      1. MittBorg

        You just made me SO happy. I hated that fat fuck. I'm not sorry he's dead. He was an execrable writer, and his politics don't surprise me in the least.

        1. Mumbletypeg

          his politics don't surprise me in the least

          See also: Orson Scott Card, Mormon Extraordinaire
          See also too: …
          I don't read much Sci Fi, I just happen to live not far from where Card has set up his abode.

          BUT I would like to get more familiar with SciFi. Even if his writing you find 'execrable', MB, with your gimlet eye's assessment is there *any* Bradbury you'd recommend as an intro? I see many fans of his exist here but from you I figure I could count on a little more objective opinion.
          (caveat: any Bradbury for my perusal will have to get in line behind Douglas Adams, which I'm also neglectful in getting around to reading)

          1. Doktor StrangeZoom

            I know you asked MB, but since he he doesn't like Bradbury, I'll jump in from the fanboy's perspective and say The Martian Chronicles is pretty damn good. His short story, "There Will Come Soft Rains," is an honest-to god classic, too.

            And for a terrific list of "you oughta read this!" SF in the form of a novel about a girl finding herself through reading, look for the winner of this year's Nebula Award, Jo Walton's absolutely kick-ass Among Others

          2. Mumbletypeg

            These are so awesome — thanks Dok (and guruka, below); of course I want a balanced input. Can you blame me for inquiring further w/ MB upon reading something described as "execrable"? It's such a loaded term but as a word geek I was allured to it nonetheless~

          3. gurukalehuru

            Personally, I hated the Martian Chronicles (i seem to be in the minority on that), but Fahrenheit 451 was pretty good and The Illustrated Man was awesome.
            He also wrote a short story called "The Pedestrian" which had a profound effect on my 11 year old mind.

          4. MittBorg

            Much as I dislike his writing, I have to recommend Fahrenheit 451. And many of his short stories were … interesting, especially The Day It Rained Forever. I'd go with Dok's recommendations, since he likes Bradbury far more than I do and appears to be academically involved in that field. Even if I'm guessing wrong about his profession, he's certainly a more qualified literary critic than I and I must defer to his greater expertise.

          5. Mumbletypeg

            It's fine, MB, thanks for getting back with your thoughts. Since you & I had traded reading rec's some time ago I figured here I'd derive good suggestions from either p.o.v.

            "Execrable" – ha! Save it for someone you love loathe!

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      I remember reading somewhere that Pournelle himself was a commie pussy when he was younger. I wish that I could find the citation. If he was it wouldn't surprise me, he just followed the same path as David Horowitz and Irving Kristol did from a left-wing flavor of authoritarianism to a right-wing flavor of authoritarianism.

    2. Wile E. Quixote

      Oh, and it always annoys me how many SF fans and writers, Pournelle included, mostly the ones who read the crap that Baen publishes, bitch and whine about the Democrats, and how the social spending of the 1960s doomed NASA. That's bullshit, what doomed NASA was the Vietnam war, and it was Republican Richard M. Nixon who killed off the Apollo program and foisted the 30 year disaster known as the Space Shuttle on the American people as a viable method of reaching space.

    3. MittBorg

      Jerry Pournelle is a godforsaken windbag of a dick, and an awful, terrible writer. He's the kind of writer you read when you're fifteen and terrified that your dick will never grow another inch and you just NEED to read about big bulgy man-thighs and pecs.

  20. finallyhappy

    I agree with goon up above- you don't want to know the personal views of people whose work you admire-often you end up disappointed. however, I can guarantee that Margaret Atwood and Ursula LeGuin are still progressive and since they are women, probably won't change even when they get old(er- Le Guin is in her 80's now)

  21. Wile E. Quixote

    I read a lot of Bradbury as a kid (as well as Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Niven, Pournelle, Moorcock, Clement, Poul Anderson, Varley, Pohl, Kornbluth, del Rey) but unfortunately I've found myself in a Philip K. Dick future. Actually there are days when I think that if P.K. Dick were still around he'd say "Yeah, this is just like what I hallucinated after binging on peyote, shrooms, acid and crank for seven days straight, but I never wrote it down because it was really depressing and i didn't think anyone would buy it, so I wrote Ubik instead."

    1. E_Tx_Pines

      "I read a lot of Bradbury as a kid (as well as Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Niven, Pournelle, Moorcock, Clement, Poul Anderson, Varley, Pohl, Kornbluth, del Rey) but unfortunately I've found myself in a Philip K. Dick future. "

      I laughed, but thought about crying instead.

    2. Estproph

      But he did write it down. We are literally living the plot of Radio Free Albemuth.

    3. AutomaticPilot

      I'm going to bring this discussion back to Wonkette standards:

      heehee, you said "Moorcock"!

      1. Wile E. Quixote

        You know what would be awesome? Agnes Moorehead starring in a movie with Michael Moorcock.

  22. Fox n Fiends

    I just cannot believe that an American author would be so aristocratic and self-serving.

  23. anniegetyerfun

    Actually, I really hated Ray Bradbury. I'm sure this makes me awful, but I hated every single piece of work that I read of his. I even re-read several of them a couple of years ago to verify that I hadn't imagined hating his writing.

    I hadn't.

    1. MittBorg

      Hey! A kindred soul!

      I re-read his stuff, too, thinking that I must have been too young to appreciate it. I'm definitely older, and his work still definitely stinks on ice.

  24. MittBorg

    I know this is going to make me real unpopular here (because, you know,popularity is all I live for) but I never could stand Ray Bradbury. I thought he was an indifferent wordsmith, at best, pretentious, hyped, overloaded, self-regarding, self-WORSHIPPING, in fact, and full of the false bonhomie of overfed and overfeted pseudo-celebrities. He, like Asimov, and many of those other early science fiction writers, saw themselves as brilliant seekers after the truth. In reality, they were fairly well-paid, obsessed with tits, narrow-minded, and inclined to think themselves superior to all others, despite the consensus being that they were mostly such bad writers that they needed their own "genre" to blab about. Give me a Kurt Vonnegut any day.

    1. Pop_Socket

      Vonnegut once said that the problem with being put in a drawer called science fiction was that so many critics mistook it for a urinal.

      1. MittBorg

        I swung by your site, and saw your fine tribute to Ray Bradbury. Pardon me, I'm feeling a little acid this morning, reality bites.

        Vonnegut really didn't belong in the category of "science fiction," which is a ridiculous made-up genre, since writers have always used their imaginations to posit dystopian/utopian worlds. It's just that science wasn't in the popular imagination/education until fairly recently, so when someone wrote fiction that included scientific concepts, some marketing whiz decided to slap a label on it.

        Vonnegut writes about people. That's literature. He wrote well. He wrote good stories. They made people laugh and sometimes also cry. Nobody forgot his stories. The end.

        1. JerkCade

          And I'll go on record here to say that while I find myself agreeing with Vonnegut as I read his books, I also find I'm not enjoying myself very much.

          Give me Dandelion Wine or The Illustrated Man all day, everyday. Especially if I'm 12. YMMV

        2. Wile E. Quixote

          Here's the weird thing with me and Vonnegut, I hated him as a kid because someone told me that Slaughterhouse-Five was a science fiction novel. Having read lots of SF novels I read it and thought it was bullshit and that Vonnegut sucked. I was about 13 or 14 when I formed this judgment.
          Years later I read Mother Night, after seeing the excellent movie adaptation, and realized that Vonnegut was a Hell of a writer. With some trepidation I picked up an edition of Slaughterhouse-Five and read it and I was blown away because with my small and limited understanding of what Vonnegut had seen and participated in I finally understood that the novel wasn't science fiction, it was something else that used some SF ideas to move the story along but those ideas weren't central to what Vonnegut was trying to do.

          1. MittBorg

            Exactly. He wrote about life, and life hurt him a lot because he loved a great deal. He was bitter about it, but not resentful, more bitter in a funny way. Like having Billy Pilgrim end up in a zoo where other beings got to watch everything he did. He posits all that because he sees that we're all Billy Pilgrim. In our brave new world, we are watched and recorded and tested and monitored every minute to manipulate us into thinking and behaving the way others would like us to. We're all time-travelers.

    2. Wile E. Quixote

      I know this is going to make me real unpopular here (because, you know,popularity is all I live for)

      Well now I'm crushed. I believed that you were posting here for the children, and for freedom. I haven't been this bummed out since I found out that those women in Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love video weren't actually playing their instruments, a fact which I still find hard to believe.

  25. OneYieldRegular

    Even John Dos Passos – towards the end of his tragic life – wound up as a supporter of then Governor Ronald Reagan. I've always wondered how much the compliment was returned, since among American novelists, Dos Passos was among the most popular in the Soviet Union.

    I saw a short documentary on Ray Bradbury when I was in my 20's; what I remember most about it was thinking I didn't ever want to end up anything like him.

    1. MittBorg

      I don't necessarily think Reagan was a stupid person, but I don't think he read for the enjoyment of it, nor that he would have chosen to read Dos Passos. And then, of course, his Alzheimer's might well have precluded him from reading at all, as it advanced.

  26. poorgradstudent

    Sci-fi writers (with huge exceptions like Ursula Le Guin, of course) tend to become weirdly reactionary at ta certain point, like how Robert Heinlein pulled the neat trick of becoming fascist and libertarian simultaneously. Of course, few sci-fi writers have gone as batshit insane as Orson Scott Card, who is such a reactionary Democrat he makes Joe Lieberman look like Bernie Sanders. Also he fairly recently wrote a short story about "Hamlet" where Claudius is the good guy, Hamlet had been raped by his father as a child which (of course) turned him gay which is why he rejects Ophelia, and the story ends with Hamlet in Hell where it's implied he'll be sodomized by his father for all eternity.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Orson Scott Card is about as much of a Democrat as Fred Phelps supposedly is.

  27. MittBorg

    I think I actually enjoyed Asimov more, because he didn't try to prove he was a Great Writer. He was a scientist and an academic, and a prolific writer in his professional life, and he could actually be fun to read.

    Interesting. I have exactly the same reaction to Bradbury that you do: I always felt cheated and angry. As if I had been promised something rare and special, and instead been given a cheap plastic mock-up that immediately fell apart. I wonder why that is? Now you've got me thinking I should go read one or two of his books again!

  28. MittBorg

    Interesting. Our analysis of this is remarkably similar, considering we're as different as two people can possibly be.

    And to top it all off, All Summer In A Day is the exact story I was thinking of when I typed out my previous reply to you.

    You sure we're not twins separated at birth?

    1. anniegetyerfun

      I'm not going to say it's impossible, but I'd feel really bad for you if you had all the same medical problems and whatnot.

      1. MittBorg

        Now I feel really bad for you. (Hugs annie) Chronic medical problems — nature's way of reminding us that life sucks pretty much till ya die.

        I am now a gimp, and ever so much more sympathetic to the problems of the disabled. I used to be such a shit to my parents, telling them they needed to exercise more to deal with the pain of arthritis (and, no doubt, the pain of having smartass kids).

  29. demmother

    Well, I still prefer Bradbury's books to Wagner's operas (but confess a liking for Das Rhinegold and The Flying Dutchman). I'll go back to my favorite closing line from Some Like it Hot. "Nobody's Perfect"

  30. TribecaMike

    Bit o' writer trivia: Walt Whitman was a big fan of the humbuggery of phrenology, and included references to it in "Leaves of Grass."

  31. __kth__

    Oh noes, some nerdcore author turned out not to be a liberal. I guess I'll just have to console myself with Milton, Blake, Shelley, Emerson, Whitman, and Twain all being on the blue team, though scant consolation indeed it is for lacking a giant like Bradbury.

  32. thefrontpage

    Knowing Ray Bradbury–and knowing where he said this, at a fan convention–this was just a dumb joke, or a slip of the tongue. But everyone knows that Ray Bradbury–one of the greatest writers of all time, one of the great science fiction and fantasy writers of all time and an incredibly gifted and talened and humanitarian man–was a die-hard liberal, left-leaning man and a progressive. He was not a conservative, he was not far-right, and he certainly was not in line with the crazy Republicans. This is just one comment, pulled for propaganda purposes by a lunatic right-wing publications. Ray Bradbury was a gifted and talented and extraordinary writer, futirist, satirist, poet, novelist, screenwriter and humanitarian He was left-leaning, liberal and progressive. And he was a great, talented man. His works will live forever–far longer than lunatic far-right morons who don't know any better. And there will come soft rains–to wash away the stupidity.

    1. TribecaMike

      I've heard and read many interviews with Bradbury over the years, and he never came across as a rightie.

  33. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Bradbury, at least in his writing, had problems with Authoritarianism, of any sort. Strangely enough, after reading the Corner's attempt to have a wet dream about him as some sort of Conservative, I really wonder what they feel about any of his work that were highly critical of people acting out of what they believed their religions commanded them to do.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Yeah, that's some weird and fucked up shit. It's like they're pulling some kind of Mormon thing and necrobaptising him as a conservative.

  34. DahBoner

    Bradberry also hated the Internet and said it was totally useless.

    Maybe he stumbled upon Wonkette….

    1. Dr. Nick Riviera

      Eh, he's dead now. It rarely happens that artists or performers I like tend to be rightwing loonies, but when it does I try not to let it get to me. "The Critic" is still one of my favorite shows despite Jon Lovitz getting all bitchy because Obama says rich people should have their taxes raised.

  35. chascates

    Time is not kind to most of us and is particularly unkind to a few. I'd prefer to remember Fahrenheit 451 rather than his teatardism, the same way I prefer to remember the accomplishments of, say, Ezra Pound, O.J. Simpson, and Ralph Nader, and not those unpleasantries of their later years.

  36. MittBorg

    Wow. I'm so sorry. That really sucks. I have it now myself, and it's such a constant, nagging PAIN. Weed helps *a lot.* I hope you have plenty.

  37. MittBorg

    OK, so I'm obsessed with tits too, but you know, in his case he took it just a tad far. I mean, geeze, we have to draw the line somewhere. Or as the old doggerel goes, "My doxy is orthodoxy, another man's doxy is heterodoxy."

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