"Do you ever read any of the books you burn?"
He laughed. "That's against the law!"
- Farenheit 451
It is on my daughter's summer reading list for Honors English. She is rather bummed at having to READ a BOOK over the SUMMER (see, another "switched at birth" argument, I KNEW it!) I figured I could make it more interesting if I read it too, then we could discuss.
I think I first read Bradbury's classic in 7th or 8th grade. . . I thought it was a little far-fetched, but not so science-fictiony that I couldn't attain that suspension of disbelief. I'm only 30 or so pages into my refresher, but I'm already struck by my different perspective.
The poor guy's wife has just attempted suicide and now wants him to drop a third of his salary on a fourth "parlor wall" (read: big-screen) with interactive capabilites (read: internet.) Sure, burning books is so "Footloose," but its still a little creepy!
I have a love/hate relationship with the internet. I love virtual school, e-mailing a teacher/friend from high school who lives in Miami, and being able to find Steve Martin's "King Tut" bit for my son when he's studying Egypt.
But I hate "MySpace."
At first it doesn't seem so bad. Its a neat way to connect to people, to express your true self. At the same time, you are making yourself totally vulnerable to, well, everyone. People you don't know have access to you, your kids, their friends. And some of the stuff you see on the friend's pages would curl your hair. I won't even look at my 19-year-old's page anymore!
Self expression is not a new thing. From cave drawings and heiroglyphics to Van Gogh's bandaged ear and Munch's "Scream" to our modern-day obsession with "reality", people have always found ways to share their souls with the world.
Is it really such a bad thing, or does it just make me feel a little nekkid? I'll have to ponder that question. . .but I'll be sure to let you know exactly what I think in a future blog. Somehow, somewhere, some way.
Don't you just love irony??
5 months ago