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.
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 Bustle.com 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.
Mashable.com 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.
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 Amazon.com 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.