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Why We Need ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Now More Than Ever

HBO is betting Ray Bradbury’s classic scare novel will frighten a new generation.

The channel’s adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451” is set for a May release. Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan star in the film, set in a near future where fire fighters burn books to keep society “safe” from knowledge.

Fahrenheit 451 (2018) Official Teaser ft. Michael B. Jordan & Michael Shannon | HBO

Cultural critics originally pinned the book’s aim on the McCarthy era. The book hit stores in 1953. Others suggested fears of censorship inspired the author. Years later, Bradbury insisted his ultimate target became a reality – our distracting media age. The Web, flat screen TVs, smart phones and tablets. The constant noise could leave us less engaged, more willing to ignore great literature.

The book’s censorship themes left a mark all the same. That’s the power of a great story.

Now, the usual culture warriors (i.e. left-leaning media outlets) are weaponizing the HBO film against President Trump. It, like anything related to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is what we need “now more than ever.”

Here’s dragging President Donald Trump into the “Fahrenheit” narrative.

Like the story’s fictional government, the newly empowered GOP has been going to extreme lengths to control the flow of information the American people see. The party’s leader, Donald Trump, frequently discredits media outlets that disagree with him, and he even went so far as to hand out “Fake News Awards” to organizations like CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post…

(Note: If President Barack Obama faced a fraction of the erroneous news reports aimed at harming Trump the reaction would be similar … or worse)

Books and free speech also come under attack during the Trump administration. A new federal budget proposal could mean drastic cuts for libraries and the many essential programs they provide to both children and adults. followed the same blueprint:

Like other dystopic narratives – did you not watch The Handmaid’s Tale? – Fahrenheit 451feels uncomfortably close to reality in 2018 (see also: the Trump administration blustering about censorship and “fire and fury”).

Ironic that a news organization takes a discredited smear book as fact…

Nerdist gleefully got into the act, too.

Really, are any of us surprised there’s a Fahrenheit 451 film coming out in 2018? After the Year of Trump, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, Idiocracy-esque television and film has positively assaulted our screens big and small with tales of science fiction horror. So it makes sense HBO is bringing us this new adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s iconic work.

Ironically, the film’s director, who previously helmed the left-leaning “99 Homes,” isn’t as eager to connect Trump to his new project.

Blame Google, blame Facebook, blame your smartphone – we’re all culpable, [Ramin Bahrani] insisted.

“I don’t want to focus so much on him,” Bahrani said when asked to compare the novel’s infamous book burnings and Trump’s various attacks on the First Amendment. “Because I don’t want to excuse the 30, 40 years prior that that,” Bahrani insisted.

He’d be better off focusing on the here and now. He won’t, though. Nor will 98 percent of the media. Yet the forces “Fahrenheit 451” excoriates are active in our country as we speak.

The Modern Left.

Need proof? Consider the following examples. See how each ties too neatly into the freedom-snuffing themes Bradbury conjured 65 years ago.

  • Progressive activist Chelsea Handler wants comedians who tell racially-charged jokes arrested.
  • Actors Alyssa Milano, Evan Handler, Misha Collins and Tara Strong are trying to shut down NRA TV by demanding stop streaming the pro-Second Amendment news service.
  • Liberals like Julianne Moore support pulling down Confederate statues and renaming schools connected to the pre-Civil War south.
  • Colleges across America are censoring conservatives. Firebrands (Milo Yiannopoulos), right-leaning feminists (Christina Hoff Sommers), Jewish intellectuals (Ben Shapiro), conservative researchers (Charles Murray), pundits (Heather MacDonald) and Canadian iconoclasts (Jordan Peterson) all have faced liberal mobs eager to shut them down. Or worse.
  • Musicians attempted to stop a concert conducted by radio talker Dennis Prager due to his traditional, conservative philosophies.
  • Liberal outlets like The New York Times and The Atlantic screamed that HBO should pull the plug on “Confederate,” a “what if” series imagining an America where slavery never went away … sight unseen. Judd Apatow was one of the few progressives to be shocked by the effort.
  • “Girls” creator Lena Dunham wanted media outlets to avoid using certain words while covering then-Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.
  • A Gallup survey of college students found 24 percent of white students and 41 percent of black students felt certain political ideologies should be banned if they offend some groups.
  • Massive media sites like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are routinely, and credibly, accused of diminishing conservative voices.
  • Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel faced an uproar after news broke he gave more than $1 million to the GOP. Leftists tried to remove him from Facebook’s board but Mark Zuckerberg defended Thiel.
  • Two scribes responsible for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” recently argued that the “Death Wish” remake should be pulled from theaters.
  • The studio behind “The Death of Stalin” airbrushed actor Jeffrey Tambor out of its poster following allegations the “Transparent” star sexually harassed co-workers.

This is just a sample of what’s happening in America these days with nary a whisper of protest from liberals, academia, Hollywood or other bastions of progressive thought.

It’s precisely why a story like “Fahrenheit 451” will resonate with audiences come May, even if the usual voices will distract us from that cold, hard truth.


  1. They have created a monster that does not exist –Trump the authoritarian — and, rather than doing their jobs, spend all their time fighting this dastardly monster. It would be funny if there were not those who take them seriously.

  2. Ray Bradbury was a classical liberal. He was a supporter of the ACLU and SANE (along with his Hollywood friends Burgess Meredith, James Whitmore and Robert Ryan) in the Fifties as well as the civil rights movement (one of my favorite yet least-known of his stories is “The Other Foot” and it should be required reading in English classes) and opposed the Vietnam War. He later came out swinging against both political correctness and religious fundamentalism of any sort as time went on, and the far left came to dominate the conversation. Like Charlton Heston, he really didn’t change (being a life long anti-communist who opposed any dehumanizing ideology) so much as everyone else headed in the wrong direction.

    1. Back then, the ACLU was much different and more in favor of free speech for all. They even went to court to defend the rights of Neonazis to march in Skokie (a predominantly Jewish Chicago suburb).

  3. The Right equating State violation of the right to free speech with the EXERCISE of property rights is the Right preaching and practicing the LEFT’S philosophy.


        Intellectual dishonesty on such a level is just hilarious. I though you MUST be joking. However, I checked your scant posting history. You’re just a one-liner drive-by troll who spews nothing but ad homs and idiocy.

        Greifer wannabe BLOCKED.

  4. It isn’t Trump who is banning Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird and other doubleplusungoodwrongthink books from libraries.

  5. I swear. There is not a thing that the left complains about that they themselves are not guilty of. In fact, the more they decry it, the more likely they are to be doing it. It’s called projection. And projection is their operating force. That and hysteria.

  6. It sounds like Fahrenheit 451 is getting the Fahrenheit 451 treatment. “Those who don’t build must burn.” after all, and “You can’t build a house without nails and wood. If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides of a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, topheavy, and tax-made, better it be all those than that people worry over it.”

    “Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book.… The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we’re the Happiness Boys… we stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought.“

    1. Thank you Jerry. It’s very clear that none of the “commentators” have actually read the book. If they had, they would realise that they themselves are the book burners with their perpetual offence and hurt feelings.

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    2. I suspect the main problem with the HBO remake is they did not highlight that much of the bookburning drive comes far more from the unhinged PC totalitarian left, than any conservative or anybody connected to Trump. Its not conservatives that want to ban Huck Finn, To kill A Mockingbird, little Black Sambo, Uncle Rhemus, Brer Rabbit, and even Dr Suess, and countless mainstream libertarian and conservative speakers on colleges.

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