Ray Bradbury hates big government: ‘Our country is in need of a revolution’

Aug. 16, 2010 | 3:23 p.m.

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury is mad at President Obama, but it’s not about the economy, the war or the plan to a construct a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City.

“He should be announcing that we should go back to the moon,” says the iconic author, whose 90th birthday on Aug. 22 will be marked in Los Angeles with more than week’s worth of Bradbury film and TV screenings, tributes and other events.  “We should never have left there. We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever.”

The man who wrote Fahrenheit 451,” Something Wicked This Way Comes,” The Martian Chronicles,Dandelion Wine“and “The Illustrated Man” has been called one of America’s great dreamers, but his imagination takes him to some dark places when it comes to contemporary politics. “I think our country is in need of a revolution.”

“There is too much government today. We’ve  got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people.”

The native of Waukegan, Ill., has never been shy about expressing himself — he described President Clinton with a word that rhymes with “knithead” back in 2001– nor is he timid about correcting people when it comes to his own perceived legacy. Bradbury chafes, for instance, at the description of his work as science fiction — in the past he has pointed out that, to his mind, “Fahrenheit 451″is the only sci-fi book in his vast body of work — and despite his passion for more national space projects, he is not  technology obsessive by any means.

“We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many Internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now.”

Bradbury wrote darkly about bookburning in “Fahrenheit 451,” but he sounds ready to use a Kindle for kindling. “I was approached three times during the last year by Internet companies wanting to put my books” on an electronic reading device, he said. “I said to Yahoo, ‘Prick up your ears and go to hell.’ “

– Susan King

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Photo: Ray Bradbury in 2009. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times


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Comments


271 Responses to Ray Bradbury hates big government: ‘Our country is in need of a revolution’

  1. Jack C NYC says:

    “We have too many cellphones. We've got too many Internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now.”
    —-
    if it wasn't for "machines" we wouldn't be reading his books (typewriter, printing press, etc).

    • Scott says:

      Did you not understand the phrase "too many"? It would be better off if we lost half the machinery we have. More people would think for themselves more, more people could work and alas there would be less electromagnetic chaos in this would, if you know what that is. You're making it seem as if he is criticizing machinery, when really I think he believes machinery is our ascension to the betterment of humanity. Just too much of it makes a problem, as too much of anything does.

      • Brooke says:

        Dang scott youre on a roll! is this like.. the 5th one you've replyed to?

      • Guest says:

        Funny thing you should say because what really matters is which one to get rid of. My point of view it sounds like he wants us to totally eliminate all of the technology.How can we elminate some of the cell phones?It makes no difference they all have the same use just with different brand names that's all.I wonder how much is too much and how can he tell it's too much when almost the entire world now uses cellphones.Literally getting rid of some would mean to take away a few people's cellphones and throw it in the trash.Scott want to help Ray bradbury achieve his goal of ruducing techonology since I'm going to tell you how. Throw your computer into the trash can that's how.

  2. fibber mcgee says:

    I'm a humongous fan of Ray Bradbury but he's got his spectcles on too tight. Our going to the moon and Mars would invove A LOT of big government, boondoggles, waste, and plenty of un-green activities. He hasn't thunked this one out.

    • Phineas says:

      "Our going to the moon and Mars would invove A LOT of big government, boondoggles, waste, and plenty of un-green activities."

      *sigh* Please do your research. Bradbury did not mention /government/ going to the moon and Mars, but "we". Private space companies are very nearly capable of colonizing both bodies. Nor do I think the degree of government in space colonization would be large at all compared to the tremendous sums currently spent on defense and welfare. As for "un-green" activities, I cannot think of anything greener than getting horrendously polluting industries (e.g., mining, manufacturing, power generation) off of this planet and into space, where they would have a practically unlimited amount of room, raw materials, and solar energy.

  3. Patricia says:

    If the "Martian Chronicles" wasn't sci-fi, then what was it?

  4. Robert says:

    Ray Bradbury is right. President Obama is reducing the ability of our nation to get back on track in the exploration of the cosmos, both directly through his reducing the role of NASA in the 21st century and by supporting a poor public education system that will simply not produce the scientists and great minds needed to produce the technological improvements to get us to the moon and beyond. In the past, both democrats and republicans have supported our missions into space. Obama is more interested in reducing America's power: including our health care system, our military and NASA. I hope everyone will listen to the great Ray Bradbury.

    • Rich says:

      Obama cut the Constellation program because it was dysfunctional and was going to be unaffordable.

      If someone is serious about cutting government then all things need to be put on the table including the military. Would you rather be wasting out money in the middle eats or spending it on space exploration. I think the latter is not as wasteful but the wars are like throwing your money down the toilet.

      I'm still waiting to here from Romney how he plans to improve education. All I have heard so far is that when you go to college choose one that you can afford to attend. Im sure that is exactly what he did when he went to college on Daddy's big bucks.

  5. Cooler heads says:

    Many years ago Ray Bradbury came to my Junior High School (George Washington) in Pasadena. He was the only speaker that day that provided students with thoughts that most folks don't think about. He told a story where one morning he was stopped by a local Officer. As the Officer questioned this desperado Mr. Bradbury started to spew out saltine crackers as he spoke. I left the school that day understanding that there are things and people I will never truly get until I think different. Thanks for everything Mr. Bradbury

  6. Emile Zola says:

    He sounds like a drunk or a child, the only ones without any inhibitions, ergo, he wouldn't make it, ever, as a politician, but on the other hand, he wouldn't get courtesy awards either. This country, so it seems, is ruled by people, politicians that seem to be graduates of ESL academies. The say one thing today and tomorrow her it comes the translation. It never fails. I wish we could have a real transparent form of government and also wish that people would behave more honestly with each other. Hypocrisy is for cowards and double talk for liars.

  7. thomasanelson says:

    People should listen….politicans should fear.

    • Scott says:

      No more listening, we have listened and followed enough… we must now either stand and demand our true rights and freedom back, or fight for them like every country that fought against tyranny and won their rights. Or we sit down, take their orders, their pills, eat their genetically-altered food and abide by their rules for as long as we live, then our next generation will have to find their way out, or do as we did. It's every single persons choice, and the question is: what will you do?

  8. trajan says:

    Ray Bradbury has a great creative mind. We do need a revolution in this country. I just hope that we pick the right one.

  9. Devon Kirschbaum says:

    So Bradbury hates big government but wants the government to colonize Mars at a cost of trillions. Does ANYBODY think before they speak?

  10. Chris Miss says:

    Feisty, isn't he? I've heard him interviewed and he's a great interview. Last I heard, he doesn't have a television or car. He's his own man, for sure.

  11. Art Vandelay says:

    There's too much government? So, who does Mr. Bradbury propose to colonize the moon and mars? Is he going to Omaha to ask Warren Buffet to put some money into that venture? Mr. Bradubry can't finance a Mars adventure on his own because I don't think his book royalties are enough to pay for the colonization of Mars.

  12. Larry Berg says:

    Great author-yes. Social commentary? Not so much.

  13. rah62 says:

    Did any of you commenters actually see in the story that Bradbury specifically wanted the GOVERNMENT to go to the moon and to Mars? Go read it again – all he said was "we". That can mean by a variety of methods, including private space travel.

  14. Gilda says:

    Internets?
    At the risk of speaking ill of the dead, was he a fan of Ted Stevens?

  15. Hahn says:

    "We've got too many Internets."
    LOL. I smell a new meme.

    • Montag says:

      By the way, there exists more than one internet. So technically, he's correct. Even if he wasn't, he's contributed far more to culture, society and humanity than you can ever dream of. So, yeah, mock the guy because he uses an 's'. Yeah, you keep smelling those memes, slick, all the while knowing you influence no one but the small circle of like-minded 'meme' icks, who make profound statements they've overheard. Try logging out for a change, step out into the day and breathe in some fresh air. Your mommy needs to clean the basement.

  16. Alann says:

    I have been a huge fan of Ray Bradbury's books since I was 10.
    Too bad he turned into a disgruntled old coot.
    Sad.

  17. Doug says:

    He wants to reduce government and Clinton is a knithead? Go to factcheck.org. You'll learn that between Reagan and the last Bush, Clinton was the only president to reduce the ranks of government. Reagan expanded it most. Bradbury is a member of the GOP (Grand Old Parrots). They just repeat what their master Rush says with no thought about whether it's correct. We don't need to go to space. We need to fill the space between some people's ears…

  18. Natty says:

    Allow me to translate for the pointy heads. He said, GOVT FOR AND BY THE PEOPLE.
    We now have GOVT FOR AND BY THE CORPORATIONS.
    That is what he is against. We are doing a lot of useless feeding rather then space exploration. Feeding peasants will not advance our society.
    Remind me again, how many times has Mexico gone to the Moon?

  19. Peter Lange says:

    While I agree that Martian Chronicles is most definitely Science Fiction by all contemporary definitions, I believe Bradbury himself always thought of it more as an imaginative fiction, akin to writing a period novel, but in this case the period just happened to be in the future rather than the past.

  20. Will says:

    I read the comments and I see why mr. Bradbury is right. "it would cost trillions", "un-green activities"…awesome, I would recommend you, people to think out of the box, but I think it would be a waste.
    Ray Bradbury is talking big, and you keep being ants, laughing at his rants. Humankind civilizations who doesn't keep improving, advancing, conquering new limits and getting challenges, crumble and they become dust and bones. It happened before, and getting back into our feets is harder each time. He is talking about leaving the planet, freeing space on earth and letting us explore the universe. That would cost trillions, and would give 100x benefit, and also would be the most green enterprise EVER.
    I am not even from US, and I am telling you this.

  21. Windfall says:

    A mission to the moon or to Mars is a far more constructive use of public funds than expanding the welfare state or increasing the role of government in terms of picking winners in private industry; however, NASA has become such a politically dominated bureaucracy that it would be best to shut in down completely and administer all future space endeavors through the U.S. Air Force.
    The best way to fund the development of the moon is to (1) claim ownership of the moon for the United States and then (2) sell off mining rights to private enterprise.

    • Rich says:

      Giving money to Lockheed Martin and ATK for the constellation program was a waste of money given the results achieved.

      SpaceX developed both a rocket and a capsule that have flown twice. What did ATK accomplish with its "heritage" technology. NADA

  22. Robert Schechter says:

    Too bad. Sounds as if Ray has gotten a bit old. His thinking, now at least, seems to be misfiring a bit. He should sit back, collect his royalties, and try to adjust to life in the 21st century

  23. Michael Bayes says:

    Long live Ray Bradbury!

  24. kurt says:

    I love Ray Bradbury as an author. Unfortunately his ideas about politics and heading for Mars are really off the mark.

  25. Bruce says:

    I agree, we need a revolution. The government no longer works for the people.

  26. Big Jim Slade says:

    Clinton reduced government?
    Obviously you were not much paying attention during the 1990's. Try cracking a history book…

  27. Tammy Brown says:

    Do Ray Bradbury's thoughts scare you America? Is it unsettling to think he might be onto something? Many of the greatest minds on the planet are predicting that our lack of space exploration now will lead to our demise in the future.
    Many people commenting here appear to not read often.
    Space exploration should be a global concern and not just America's. The decline of the American Empire is not Obamas fault…its been in progress for many years and that's likely due to the natural ebb and flow of power.
    Celebrate your great minds… don't berate them! (Even if you don't agree with everything he says…RB is great)!

  28. Carl W. Goss says:

    Great writer. I've read "Something Wicked This Way Comes" about 100 times. He ought to be more tech savvy. Almost all his works are available on the ebook channels on usenet.

  29. dfb says:

    Sadly, he's become a caricature of himself. He is so caught up in his own dreams he forgets that it takes a big government for the government to colonize mars. Too bad we just spent the entire budget for the Mars colony on a waste of a pseudo-war in Iraq and are pissing it away in Afghanistan supporting a corrupt government without actually making a real difference for the people of the country. :-( Mr. Bradbury is a talented writer. But I'll listen to David Brin long before I take much of anything Bradbury says, outside his stories, with a grain of salt.

  30. amyleetee says:

    Bradbury has always been an old coot and his writing is mediocre and 'made-for-tv', ironically.

  31. John says:

    Why does space exploration have to involve GOVERNMENT? You yourself have said that if GOVERNMENT was involved (you seem to think it HAS to be) that massive waste and corruption would also follow, well………um……….YEAH! Thats the point, if GOVERNMENT would get gone and stay there private citizens would have insentive to do it themselves. Incentives such as, money made from films, books, tv, private travel, space realestate, & the usual accidental development of things that we would use in our daily lives. Great things done by people of means is what makes the world go round, which if you havent noticed isnt going round so much lately. All GOVERNMENT can do by staying in space travel is gain more GOVERNMENT jobs which can then be paid for by tax paying private citizens. These new GOVERNMENT workers of course can't get fired, do a terrible job because of it (do mainly to lack of need, no incentive is needed when you will get a raise and can't be fired), oh god, why am I trying? You said un-green for crying outloud. NEWS FLASH PAL! GARDENING IS "UNGREEN"! Leftist slave dolt!

  32. John Thomas says:

    It is NOT the governments. Ever read about the Rothchild family?? Big Banks and High rolling financiers have wrecked human development in pursuit of the money they print and rent and tax everyone through the government for interest. Win or lose they have caused and profited from all the wars of the last 3-4 centurys. Control the bankers ability to wage wars for profit and peace and prosperity will rule not governments.

  33. HJ says:

    There is nothing wrong with Ray Bradbury's thinking as ca be witnessed in the prophecies of his many books, screenplays and short tories; to the contrary there is something terribly wrong with the moronic American psyche that has allowed and continues to foster prejudice, narrowmindedness and discrimination on all levels of government, politics and education. Yes, there is too much government; yes there are too many unnecessary machines; yes there is too much of everything. As a result of this overfed contentedness we are a spoiled, fat nation of obese couch potatoes. Therein lies the dangerous seeds of doom for the future of our civilization. Dont believe me? Then read the prohpetic works of Mr. Bradbury, and those of his mentors H. G. Wells and George Orwell, who were soothsayers of their time. They knew what lay in store for us and, sadly, that has all come to pass. Mr Bradbury predicted a national catastophe of electronic bugging and technological terror more than half a century ago, and, like it or not, his predictions are rapidly coming true.

  34. Jack43 says:

    Why does everyone (apparently including Mr. Bradbury) assume that we need government to take us back to the moon or onto Mars? There is a potential for profit in space exploration and exploitation, something that government is singularly inept at procurring (profit, that is).

  35. Clancy says:

    Revolution is the opium of the intellectuals

  36. Alex says:

    Many of you sheep truly don't get it, and it is sad for us.
    We lose our way when we all we do, as a nation, is focus on the frailities of the human condition. When we throw so many of our resources after things that can only change from within: hunger and political strife in Africa, dysfunctional, throwback cultures in Iraq and Afghanistan and a "drug war" in Mexico. These things will never resolve without an internal impetus, without those people truly wanting to make the sacrifices to resolve them.
    What we need is a seemingly insurmountable challange that will demand the best in us, and it is projects like a manned space program that require those efforts and remind us of what we can and should do as a nation. Once we start harping about potential cost and mumbo jumbo like it not being "green", then we become small; we wither and we die. Make no mistake. Your grand children will inherit a stagnant, sick and lost culture, wherein the dreams and accomplishments of the great genenration are forgotten.
    Maybe it truly is the fault of my sister's generation, that great drug-using mass who believed that endless introspection and blind hope woul somehow solve all of the word's ills. What have the baby boomers brought to our great culture? What have they built for the subsequent generations? It doesn't matter because it is up to us now. Let them fade into bliss with their viagra and pot gardens.
    This nation needs an ultra expensive, all-out, seemingly impossible goal, and nothing would provide that like a return to a manned space program with the immediate goal of building a permanent facility on the moon and using that facility to launch manned explorations of Mars and beyond.

  37. pasadena jag says:

    Bradbury is so right about President Obama. This was a major mistake of the USA in electing this guy.

    • Rebecca says:

      You are very riht. He's trying to turn this country into a Socialist State where everyone relies on the Government like a parent to take care of them. In his eyes, no one should have more than anyone else. He wants to turn this country into a second Cuba. Our education system is sorely lacking, no one wants to think for themself, and the list can go on and on. Our Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves right now because everything they worked to accomplish is being thrown out the window. We are going backwards instead of forward and no one wants to think about it. America was another Rome, and thanks to Obama and others, Caesar is dead again, and we are in a great decline. We, like Ancient Rome was, are in decline, and if we continue to sit around and let the Government run rampant with no one checking and balancing them, we will have nothing left, and we will ALL be living on handouts from the rest of the world. Is it any wonder that other countries no longer take us seriously and laugh in our face? We outsource everything, and produce nothing, and sit and wonder why we're so poor and inept. We need to take our country back!

  38. Dave says:

    When Bradbury talks about Big Gov't he doesn't mean going to the moon. He means bailouts of Wall St. Gm National Healthcare. Spying on its citizens etc. Going to the moon doesn't require big Gov't. It requires inspiration. WE DO have too many cellphones and idiots running around staring at their toys, texting other idiots, usually while driving a giant suv or staring into a phone while crossing the street. We didn't add to big Gov't by going to the moon the first time. We added to big Gov't by stretching our Defense budget to a trillion dollars and handing the keys to our treasury to the banks. As for Obama, he's been an unqualified disaster and I voted for this idiot. He's the latest in a long line of bought and paid for presidents who front for the Shadow Gov't. The military industrial complex.

  39. Previous delinquent says:

    If those of you criticizing his views had ever listened to an interview or lecture by this man, i think you might think twice before being so critical. His view of the world and his vision for our future is very intriguing and amazing. Most of us are way too cynical to think as big as Ray does. Big government or private industry, Ray's insistence that we focus on the future is the real point. Seriously, he is not a grouchy old man at all, he is a dreamer like few others in this world, and also a very creative with his mind.

  40. ArtFart says:

    I think what Mr. Bradbury is trying to say is how petty we've become in the four decades since a few of us trod the lunar dust. Now, we devote our best minds to making the latest "personal" whiz-bang for people who'll never meet face to face to pretend to "communicate", devising "credit instruments" and "actuarial models" to empty the pockets of ordinary people, inventing ever more horrid means of murdering people or creating computer-animated simulations of space travel to be delivered to an audience that hardly seems to care whether or not it's the real thing.
    Many of us who once hoped that Apollo would be a beginning, not an end; that we'd continue on to conquer the stars and make our home planet a paradise now watch with dismay as our childrens' children play in their own garbage and our neighbors parade around with teabags on their heads waving misspelled signs. Pathetic.

  41. Michael says:

    He's right about everything except one small detail.
    I love my Nook from Barnes & Noble and he should too.

  42. sunnyglow says:

    What a great man. Happy birthday to my favorite write and an awesome individual. He inspired me during those summer nights as a teen reading his great works such as Dark Carnival. I had read he was a Democrat. But now I see he is against big government. Perhaps another writer wrote this but 1984 is soon coming to your town. Remember Fahrenheit 451. Best wishes. He inspired many of us.

  43. Joe says:

    I love Bradbury and his fearless thinking. It's so cliche to dismiss someone because they're older. These comments ordering him to adjust to modern life and smearing him as an antiquarian display close-minded attitudes. Not very liberal or open. Not very smart.

  44. gerry says:

    I am now a fan of this man.

  45. Frank Burns says:

    Love ya, Ray!
    Everyone buy his books, everything – he's the greatest visionary since Arthur C.

  46. Shaun Haynam says:

    fibber, you're wrong on this one. Yes, space exploration would require 'big government,' but it's a function that only the gov't is capable of performing. And it's a necessary one, your concerns about the environment be damned. Throughout history, once a civilization reaches its apex, it stops exploring, turns inward, and rots. The space race was hugely important to this country, and investing in NASA would do nothing but good for this country, both in terms of new technology, jobs, and a general stimulation of the economy.

  47. Carney says:

    I'm with Bradbury in feeling frustrated that the space program has stagnated since the Apollo glory years, and that we should have been colonizing Mars by now.
    However, using the Moon as a jumping off point for Mars is dumb. It takes fuel to get to the Moon, so much so that it makes more sense to just go directly to Mars.
    And cost is NOT an issue. Those talking "trillions" do not know what they're talking about. The Mars Direct plan, which avoids exotic technology and other delays, and which the Bush Administration adopted in most essentials (but on a delayed, kick the can down the road basis), provides for a robust program of manned exploration of Mars for a formally costed total of $55 billion over ten years. Well within NASA's $18 billion annual budget, which is about half of 1% of our total national budget.

  48. Chris Brown says:

    I am with Bradbury on his too much government comment. This very Country was founded by private individuals who moved here to get away from government. The next leap into space will be done by PRIVATE citizens spending their own money!
    Mars and the moon could, and probably will be, colonized by private organizations/private citizens. The long-term inhabitants of Mars will be private citizens who choose to leave this planet and go!
    For people that are supposed to be interested in Sci Fi, there is an amazing lack of knowledge about the privatization of space travel.
    Don’t people ever think before the speak/write stuff?

  49. yvettegr says:

    Let's not forget Bradbury once said women shouldn't write books because they weren't intellectual enough. Lost me as a fan with that one.

  50. klausnerrummel says:

    Hey Ray! SWTWC.The world… ah waits.

  51. RJ says:

    Good. He should never allow his books to be digital. Once the government can get all books digital, just like the nazis they will take everyones books and burn them. Then they can just change every book to what they want it to say.
    The states need to secede from this fascist federal government now.

  52. Cowboy says:

    As with so many brilliantly talented people, some of his statements make more sense than others (to put it politely).
    Stephen Hawking makes the same claims that mankind must populate other worlds if it is going to survive.

  53. LHM says:

    Ray Bradbury is correct. We ought to be looking toward the days when we HAVE to leave this rock (hopefully, in the distant future). Those of you who think the trip to Mars would be a big waste of time and resources sure seem to be enjoying the fruits of the last great space race. Don't be so quick to condemn competition and the benefits it brings. Socialism doesn't work, and crushing the American spirit under layer upon layer of government control will be our undoing. We are already on the path to 3rd world status, let's turn this tub around and head for Mars!

  54. Dean says:

    HA! Go, Ray, go!!! There's a reason why this man's been a hero of mine for over thirty years, and Ray Bradbury's fearless comments here firmly illustrate that reason. Bradbury's passionate defense of the human imagination in the face of the enforced ignorance society has come to call "political correctness" makes me proud to have been a fan of his for so long!

  55. Chris says:

    According to Obama, NASA's new mission is to the Muslims, not the moon or Mars

  56. doowop says:

    “We should never have left there. We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever."
    i agree with his spirit here, but technically that would only buy us more time. we eventually need to colonize other solar systems.
    “I think our country is in need of a revolution,” Bradbury said. “There is too much government today. We've got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people.”
    sing it, brother!

  57. Jane Quatam says:

    Sometimes it doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

  58. Barry G. Wick says:

    I wonder at what temperature a Kindle will burn…obviously it sounds like he wants to write that story, but his hand can't hold a pen for all the shaking with age. Great writer. Out of touch.

  59. Dummy says:

    fibber mcgee, homes, the idea is to actually do something. And hey are n't you a genius? I mean with your college degree you should be able to figure it out.
    Get to work you lazy doggie boiy.

  60. skull crusher says:

    i thinking he's talking about the evil robot in the white house

  61. natasha says:

    taking care of the highways, going to war AND colonizing the moon, mars and the milky way is about the ONLY programs government should be involved in. so, a small central government leaves it to the states to govern closer to the will and needs of the people while it concentrates on those duties given to it by the constitution of the united states of america.

  62. UrbanaILJake says:

    May I never live to 90.
    Cranky. Old. Man.
    Someone take aways his
    breathing maching and
    feeding tube machine at
    the proper time.

  63. Crayzeefrenchman says:

    Ummm…"internets" is actually a word. There are such things as private "internets", and there is even standards for IP addressing inside of private internets (RFC 1918 – go to ietf.org). The world wide web is NOT the I-nternet. The World Wide Web is a series of applications HOSTED on the I-nternet, which is a collection of interconnected devices (computers, routers, etc.) and software based on the TCP/IP protocol suite. Of course, I'm sure the author knew that, and only capitalized "Internets" out of force of habit, not in an attempt to embarrass him, just as I'm sure the posters who jumped on him for this know the difference between the Web and the I-nternet…yeah right…

  64. fyngyrz says:

    He's right; Fahrenheit 451 was his only SF work. The rest… meh. It's ok, if you enjoy hand-wringing.
    He's also right that our government is too large, out of hand. I say this because it is operating far outside the bounds the constitution lays out.
    We don't need a revolution, though. We just need a few tweaks, to find some way to punish legislators and judges for breaking their oaths. Then they wouldn't be so quick to do things like invert the commerce clause, create and uphold ex post facto laws, and step all over the bill of rights. All of which they have already done, and continue to do with depressing regularity.
    I don't have a problem with a little socialism – fire departments, water, sewer, education and (omg!) healthcare – but I *do* have a problem when the constitution says "government shall not" and then some idiot judge says "you can if government has a compelling interest"… that's the whole point: By definition, government has no interest, because the constitution says it can't have one.
    And as for the moon… no. Where we need to be is in high orbit, where we don't have to spend fuel lifting out of *another* gravity well; where access to raw materials in asteroids and comets is a matter of very little energy; where there are no limits to the size of the constructions we may build and the fuel we may obtain (from materials mined from said asteroids and comets) and where the habitat may be moved if need be, rather than chained to some virtual bull's-eye in a gravity well. Once that's done, yes, we should settle Mars. And perhaps try to figure out some way to make Venus usable.
    Until (unless) this is done, we are at risk of sudden extinction, and if that matters to anyone, they should be pushing, HARD, for us to get off the planet. It should be job #1, in my estimation.

  65. Gene Venable says:

    As Crane Brinton pointed out long ago in his excellent book The Anatomy of a Revolution, revolutions usually result in the ascendency of the group that brings about the revolution — usually, the military wing. If you want the military to run society for awhile, you too should support a revolution.

  66. Cpt. Falcon says:

    TOO MANY INTERNETS
    GIVE THIS MAN ANOTHER INTERNET!

  67. John Galt says:

    Bradbury is right, as always. He has vision; something today's leaders lack.

  68. Linx says:

    He's probably right.
    You do-nothings want to write about how he's too old when he's done more in 90 years than you would ever do in a thousand? He's a true artist: a warning before the storm, but he's looking forward and you're all staring at your genitals.

  69. cadgbd says:

    Big government means governmental intrusion into private life restricting personal freedom. The funding of a space program is not "big government". Big government is Orwellian double speak, political correctness, actually it is socialism cum communism.
    Space exploration is incredibly powerful providing unknown opportunities. The earth someday will become uninhabitable. It could happen at any moment. Colonies on Mars and starships would lead to the evolution of contemporary humans into an alien species eventually.
    The comments by the liberals about big government = spending on space programs is typical of the immature thinking expected by them. Bradbury is a prolific icon with far greater vision than the immature detractors on this site.
    Thank you for having the courage to take a stand publicly most of the entertainment industry are paid shills. It is evident the power of celebrities to hypnotize the masses by the negative comments here. Thanks and god speed.

  70. itreeye says:

    It is fascinating how those who are clearly of a left-wing persuasion in the comments here, are almost to a person using personal attacks to support their disagreement with Mr. Bradbury.
    I tend to think that they don't realize they are doing it, but it is just so low class and mean I want to stick up for him.
    Here's what I mean: dismissing his arguments by attacking him for his age, his ability to think, on to calling him mean spirited or just grumpy, etc . Can't you people see that this is unfair? Do you think that if you demean the person you will distract from and dismiss his arguments? Why not take on the ideas themselves without getting personal? This would be the decent, civilized thing to do.

  71. ehisforadam says:

    I'd say Ray is way better at expressing his views through stories than directly talking about them, and even then, he was probably better when he was younger. I don't think he's progressed with the times.

  72. Roboto says:

    Insightful comments from Bradbury. Sadly, it is too late.
    The sheeple have been lobotomized.

  73. Michael says:

    “We should never have left there. We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever."
    I think people are taking this statement seriously. Maybe I'm wrong, but it sounds facetious to me. "…live forever." He sounds like he wants the tech addicted people to populate the galaxy to leave the simple folks to a simple life on earth without so many machines.

  74. nidoog says:

    Far more often than not, revolutions lead to despots.

  75. HeckSpawn says:

    Budget Authority ——– FY 2009 — FY 2010 — FY 2011 —- FY 2012
    NASA FY 2010(B) —– – 17,782.4 — 18,724.3 — 19,000.0 — 19,450.0
    I'd rather be spending twice as much to go back to the Moon and on to Mars than throwing money away on "bailouts".
    When we do get back to the Moon, we'll have to be paying rent to the Chinese…

  76. RickG says:

    Mr. Bradbury reminds me of the "old guy" on a syndicated radio show I listen to every morning; people in the South may know who I mean. He also hates machines, claims he uses a rotary phone, doesn't own a computer. etc. To me it doesn't sound so much like principle as much as being a pseudo intellectual and to be able to maintain an elitist attitude of superiority over the rest of us common people.

  77. GAC says:

    I very much like Farenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, but I think Bradbury's age and odd way of thinking show here.
    On space: Part of the reforms for NASA are to reduce government involvement in space travel and allow private companies to innovate and bring down the cost of orbital flights. Also, others have pointed out that going to the Moon and Mars would be expensive undertakings. While I do believe we must eventually look to colonize other worlds, I believe it should be an international undertaking.
    On e-readers: Bradbury should support the rise of e-readers, as they are bringing books to people who otherwise either would not read, or would read much fewer books. And the Internet is disseminating information in ways that often thwart censorship efforts (though censorship is still a big issue). There are bad sides to the Kindle, but I think Bradbury is engaging in some Old Man Rant without thinking of how new technology can further his own ideals.

  78. …after expressing his views, Bradbury passed out some Werther's Originals and made his way to Taco Night in the Cafeteria. Unfortunately, Taco Nights fall on Thursdays, not Monday. With that realization, Bradbury settled for a nap and smelling old.

  79. John Smith says:

    I must agree Dr Ray. I am so very pleased that the envelope ois being pushed. I don't mind the idiot machines. I'm waiting for those of Joy.
    A most pleasent day My Favorite Docter.

  80. Coltrane says:

    …to which Bradbury added, "Get offa my lawn!"

  81. Former Hyde Parker says:

    Shouldn't it be "internetz" ?
    And lay off my man, Barry O. He's doing a great job cleaning up the piles of poop left by the previous administrations.

  82. Timinator257 says:

    fibber mcgee – not necessarily – look at the example of the http://www.virgingalactic.com/

  83. Andre says:

    Ray Bradbury is correct on the need for revolution. Our Founding Fathers would advocate for one as well if they could see that nowadays the goverment OWNS us.

  84. Nathan says:

    Even iconic authors get old and contradictory if they live long enough. Hope he has a happy birthday, though.

  85. sophie says:

    I am sick and tired of hearing that the GOP is "against big government." They are just against gov't DOING anything for the common person. They are FOR big gov't intervening in every way possible to help corporations, the rich, and all other wealthy elites. If you're truly against big government, cut all taxes on the middle class and poor.

  86. Alex J. R. says:

    There are too many machines. They need to make things simpler not more so. How many ways do we need to watch something or do a hundred other things.
    As for the government, it really seems like it has gone off the rails.

  87. Ernie says:

    "I'm a humongous fan of Ray Bradbury but he's got his spectcles on too tight. Our going to the moon and Mars would invove A LOT of big government, boondoggles, waste, and plenty of un-green activities. He hasn't thunked this one out." … Fibber Mcgee
    You are fibbing Fibber.
    The NASA space program was the best investment that
    the US government ever made. You would not be posting
    to this forum without it.
    The liquid fuel rockets that NASA sent up in the Apollo program burned liquid H2 and liquid O2 producing H20. That's water to you.
    That's too bad.
    The plants could have used the CO2.
    Our sun passes back and forth across an arm of the Milky way where it encounters a dense populated area of debris which causes mass extinction on Earth every 26 million years.
    We have only 13 million years left to prepare for the next encounter.
    http://mb-soft.com/public/extinct.html
    Typically from 75-90% of life on earth is wiped
    out when the earth is hit.
    During one pass a comet hit the earth wiping out
    the dinosaurs.
    Earth might not survive another pass.
    There may have been a planet between Mars and
    Jupiter which was hit during one pass which
    created the asteroid belt.

  88. Craig says:

    He's right we do need a revolution. The government is as corrupt as it could possibly be. Wall St wrecks the world economy. Needs to take trillions from the federal government to stay afloat. Then these banker hoodlums give themselves billions in bonus money (with the bailout money!). If that doesn't reek to high heaven please, then what does? Wake up America! We have no choice between republican and democrats. Both are undermining the middle class. Destroying this nation by selling it off with their corrupt law making. The US can bail out Wall ST but not help you with your suddenly devalued house which you still have a full value mortgage on? Wall St has received trillions from the Federal Reserve but a few billion in unemployment insurance will break the bank? Seriously? It is almost too late and not enough Americans are going to realize that their biggest enemy isn't illegals or the Chinese or off-shoring or terrorists. It is the rot from inside that is going to do us in. Where our Washington DC betrays the American people a little more each day. The forefathers are rolling over in their graves at what a bunch cowards and pushovers we have become.

  89. food.tiger says:

    Sounds like he needs a twitter account.

  90. StanW says:

    I share Mr. Bradbury's concerns. I just watched the move Fahrenheit 451 a few weeks ago after a many years. As I use my BlackBerry and see the emergence of the iPad and Kindle, I am very concerned that people will no longer believe in history. We will have what the Palestinians are calling their narrative versus the Israel narrative. They argue that the written history is not correct and argue as does Islam, that the Jews and the Christians erased their history.
    So with computers and no bound books, were will the reference be? It is like the battles on Wikipedia over whose narrative gets to be history for that day until the editors (unbiased of course) catch up with the the revisionists and change it back to their version.
    So will future generations find the learning of history and literature to be reliable or will it be up for grabs?

  91. glawen alastor says:

    What a surprise to hear a differing opinion from what we usually get from authors, musicians, actors and the ''entertainment industry''. I think we should heed the wisdom of Mr. Bradbury, truly one of the greats.

  92. David says:

    I'm a huge fan of Bradbury, and especially of Fahrenheit 451. I mostly agree with his statements in this article. But I disagree that colonizing the moon and Mars would take a lot of big government. I think the private industry would do just fine with that mission. The hurdle is getting enough investors with enough money excited about the prospect. Let the market determine the outcome. When it becomes a worthwhile venture, so be it. Let's go!
    And as to Mr. Bradbury's opinion of electronic forms of literature, I have a small bone to pick with him on that one. Although it seems to be a sacrilege to put Fahrenheit 451 (a book about banning books) onto a form of media that isn't made of paper.

  93. jdredd says:

    Mankind needs to evolve before it is ready to be a spacefaring race. Why do I say that? Because there is no way we should put a Glenn Beck or any of his ilk in space.

  94. evan says:

    It always interests me to hear from these very same sci-fi authors that wrote about futuristic cities and robots and space travel criticize technological advances like the cell phone and the internet..

  95. Dorthea Adkins says:

    Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is still a great book today, and is even more relevant now than it was when it was written. I didn't even know he was still alive, and I am so glad he is. It's a mystery why he wants us to go to Mars – a thing which obviously requires high technology, but doesn't want his books to be put on any electronic devices. All the political correctness run amock is addressed in Fahrenheit 451, and when I read it most recently again, I wondered if he had been psychic or something. He hit it right on the head. I definitely recommend this book to everyone. I can't say I agree with his opinion of electronic devices to read books, it's just another tool people use to read books, and would only allow more people to enjoy his books that maybe otherwise wouldn't get a chance to.

  96. Former Fan says:

    I met Mr. Bradbury at the second "Us Festival" in the Cali desert in 1983. I told him we worshipped him back in Grand Rapids. Michigan, and he kissed me on the head (!) and said "God bless you." Later we sat and listened to him speak about the future under a white tent at the distant edge of the festival grounds–about a hundred of us, escapees from the sweaty thousands of music fans. I raised my hand and told him I was a writer–a writer who didn't own a computer–and did I need one to be succesful? He answered that all you need to be a successful writer were two rocks–you could scratch the words onto one with the other. Funny, reading this article, and remembering his disdain for mechanical balls and chains, even then.

  97. Mike McGinty says:

    In first grade Miss Carson taught me to read, my grand mother gave me Dandelion Wine for my 8th birthday and I learned to love to read. This week I gave 5 of your books to my 8 year old grandson. Mr. Bradbury you will live forever with your Golden Eyes, in your Ice Cream Suit, in a light house, near the House of Usher, Flying Vampires on a string, drinking Dandelion Wine, waiting for the Dragon on the moor. Bless you

  98. Demobust says:

    HEY it doesn't take big government to colonize the moon! Remember the free enterprises system? Hell its been along tough slog but recall markets work. The incentive perhaps a government subsidy at the expense of more social programs. Don't kid your self properly directed the government can be more than adequate tool for space exploration.

  99. Mike McGinty says:

    Every year when I put on my new spring tennis shoes, I think of you….

  100. zev says:

    .rocket technology , it turns out, is not where we thought it would have been regarding making access to space cheaper than it was 50 years ago.
    perhaps one day, with the help of all these 'machines' (namely the internet) , we will be able to develop a cheaper space access technology.
    for example, the ansari x prize , funded by internet entrepreneurs helped spur on and create spaceship one, the cheapest vehicle ever developed for getting passengers to extrememly high altitutde (never went into orbit) . spaceship one continues to be improved, but i wouldn't bet on private space tourism happening anytime soon.

  101. Joe Schmoe says:

    I have been a Ray Bradbury fan since childhood. I'm a pretty old fart myself, and like a lot of what he has to say in the article. There is far to much emphasis on gadgets (yeah, I can get hooked too), especially with the very young. Man needs a goal bigger than himself, like returning to the Moon or landing on Mars. People who worry about how "green" space travel is are a bunch of vegetables. We must expand our reach and work for a goal beyond politics and marketing (although, yes, they'll still be there, but the goal well now be driving everything). Much more good has come from our exploration of near space than bad. We are starting to grasp our seeming insignificance when we look at those photos of the Earth from somewhere else, or those Hubble photos of endless galaxies near the edge of time and space.
    Live long and write Mr. Bradbury!

  102. Robbie in Tokyo says:

    Oh boy, Ray. Now you've done it.
    You've treaded feet first on a religious subject for so many millions out there who refuse to admit they are addicted to gadgets. And to those who (facetiously, hopefully?) included typewriters and printing presses, I give you this: Did you stare at your typewriter for 8 hours a day, checking to see if it changed? Did you continuously jot down daily minutia and send them out as leaflets every few minutes? Did you write letters to people every time you had a few minutes standing in line, or walking, driving, even?
    Yes, Mr. Bradbury you are spot on, as usual. And you can expect, with equal dependability, that those threatened by your words will react most cruelly. But down deep they know you are right, as you always have been.
    We love you.

  103. Matt C. says:

    I would like to expand on his idea, in that we send everyone in the three branches of the Federal Govt. to Mars, the Moon, or even better, the Sun!

  104. tom729 says:

    "I'm a humongous fan of Ray Bradbury but he's got his spectcles on too tight. Our going to the moon and Mars would invove A LOT of big government, boondoggles, waste, and plenty of un-green activities. He hasn't thunked this one out."
    The new technology and long term benefits that came out of going to the moon originally FAR outweighed the TEMPORARY short term loss in money. At your big government point – if our government did not waste as much money as it does today and operated in a more buisness efficent manner we would not need bigger government – we could use an even smaller government to get the job done. The government does not have to be big for scientists to do their job. We currently have a plan for going to Mars in 30(?) years, this is not a plan, we don't have to do anything (nor have we) to accomplish something so far in the future.

  105. Ray Dontlie says:

    The revolution is already going on against his chosen people. He wants a change of venue revolution. He sure looks like Kissinger, I wonder if their related?

  106. Buddy says:

    fibber mcgee!! un-green, give me a break. un-green your own life and live other peoples to their own free will. All the Wind-mills, all the solor plants, all the what ever you want to call it will not stop us from using oil. We need oil for everything. From Asprin to Wheels is made from byproducts of crude oil.

  107. TomRoberts says:

    You stop exploring and you stop living. It's doesn't get any simpler than that. Every country in the world is expanding their space program – except the U.S.A. Even cash strapped Russia is expanding – and taking up the slack for our retiring shuttle fleet. Soon expect China, India, Japan (where I am based), and host of other nations to be where America is now. Very soon. Then, the sky is the limit, except for Americans who will still be looking down and bickering with one another.
    Yeah, and to those geniuses who insult Ray Bradbury for adding an 's' to internet. Sure, why not insult him? You've never made a mistake in speaking ever, have you? Of course not. And besides, you are all internet technology experts now, because you blog or comment on other blogs or tweet and post links. What a laugh. 30 years ago, Ray was envisioning a future, consulting with and inspiring not only astronauts and engineers, but the foremost computer designers and pioneers, the architects of the mechanisms that you now use umpteen hours a day. His words inspired those same individuals that built NASA and ARPAnet, (the parent of the internet you now use to bash Ray and one another). Ray envisioned more of how you live today than you even realize or will ever care to admit.
    Which leads me to ask, what were you doing 30 years ago? Perhaps not even a glimmer in your daddy's eye. And if so, your accomplishments? They are? Please list for us, lest we miss them, for their size and influence won't even stir a ripple in a puddle in your own driveway by this time next week. Forgotten and no one will care. Meanwhile Ray Bradbury's work will continue to live on for generations to come and inspire millions and more millions around the world.
    I'll finish there to let you get back to bashing Ray because he shined a light on your addiction, or rather addictions ('s' included for accuracy).
    Keep looking down.

  108. Dan, CA says:

    Thank you Ray. I agree with you completely. And yet I fear for my children because our leaders (and it seems many of our citizens) can't simultaneously think big and small as you do.

  109. blaine jeffreys says:

    Obviously a lot of you people have no respect for the wisdom and knowledge aquired by someone in 90 years. You people with your infantile brains think you know everything but you KNOW very little and think even less. Most of your actions are based on feelings with little use for logic, experience, or critical thinking. I don't see any of you other idoits being famously creative or thinking out of the box- the box by the way, that has been built around you by someone else while you sat idly by with your heads up your facebook and twitter asses.

  110. Blohmea says:

    …"but his imagination takes him to some dark places when it comes to contemporary politics"… Really? That the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people?
    I guess that is "dark" to a bunch of libturds!
    And calling Clinton a Sh#&head is small beans compared to the beating that Bush received from this very paper.

  111. G. Moore says:

    Ray is visionary who should be taken as seriously as a seasoned statesman or scholar. He deserves at least as much respect for his ideas and observations. It is visionaries like H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clark and Bradbury that might even determine the realities of tomorrow. Such people see the collective implications lost on those of subjective specialization, blinded by event horizons of their limits.
    Indeed, revolution is the mechanism of change needed now, but a revolution of intelligence and application, not violence or old paradigms. Go Ray!

  112. Roman says:

    Ray, I love your books, but how do you suppose we can go to the Moon and Mars without all these 'machines'?
    Also, Ray is wrong on another thing: we don't need the government to announce that anybody is going to Mars. Governments already went wherever, the Moon, etc., it's not going to happen until the private sector decides to go to space (like it is already doing a little) and then find a way, most importantly a reason to go to the other planet.s
    Government needs to shrink, so that the resources it takes away can be used by the private people to go where they decide to go, be it Mars or whatever. Governments conduct wars, build useless government projects and misdirect a lot of resources from the private sector for us to be going anywhere soon.

  113. Helloseekers says:

    Nah! Who says government has to be involved in space flight? I'll bet private industry will do it better, cheaper, safer, and faster. And less, um, un-greener…whatever. That way there's no burden on an overstrained economy and witless federal government that is more concerned about green-ness (ungreenity?) than about jobs, food, opportunities for the underprivelaged, and leaving small business alone to generate jobs. Fight the power and whatever party controls it!

  114. John Bradshaw says:

    I think in a funny way this dude invented modern electronics . His idea of walls being tv could be the reason why we invented and are moving towards that reality. Futurists shape the idea of how the future will be and therefore when the future begins to present itself we see bits of those idea become the reality of life. Armies of millions being blown away in seconds war s of global scale lasting an evening. Im pretty sure this is all possible now but has not been used. fire men burning books not saving any lives, is kind of like our police in sleepy towns, to much power to much of nothing to do their true duties were forgotten and evolved into something sinister and silly. Say what you want about this comment but still it is true at some sense. The way we view the future is the way our future will result. I imagine a place where the super rich loose their fortunes and are forced to put their families on the level playing field of equality. But what happens when i make a fortune some day will i think this way? god no! The future is uncertain and scary and im pretty sure colonizing mars is a dumb idea. Im pretty sure putting all efforts forth and all money put into space research and place it towards saving the oceans and maybe the future will be a somewhat livable place.

  115. Joseph says:

    To Alann. I imagine before he became a disgruntled old coot he was a disgruntled young coot.

  116. Brenton says:

    To the people who are asking: "If the 'Martian Chronicles' wasn't sci-fi, then what was it?"
    The Martian Chronicles were science-fantasy. It was a distinct genre that's kind of gone by the way-side in modern times, but it can be compared with John Carter of Mars by Burroughs. They aren't about the science, it's just future-fantasy.

  117. Michael says:

    Another "celebrity" voicing an opinion noone cares about, where's the story?
    We have enough experts and well informed people that have been involved in our space programs that a meaningful article with respected figures could have been made,but instead the pubic gets another fluff piece from our "news" media.

  118. dude says:

    awesome.

  119. pj says:

    yet another out of touch old person that is failing to get with the times…….

  120. Mike on Vashon says:

    Ray wants one (1) thing to happen: self-sustaining human colonies on other planets and in space. If our government is so powerful, and yet thus far so incapable of funding space projects in a productive, effective, and sensible manner, that government is in need of change. It has to be made to work better. To Ray, big government means not-very-good-getting-us-into-space. A better government might still be big, but it also is launching equipment and personnel into orbits. His messages in his writing is very clear about this.

  121. Chris Broderick says:

    I think most folks who have followed Ray's career know that politics, public policy and contemporary life are not his strong suits. Even before his stroke and his old age, Ray didn't drive or fly. He was a successful writer for 60 years and hasn't worked a day job for decades. As a result, he always has been able to live in a world of his own making — not the real world that most of us experience. So he's entitled to his eccentricities and hyperbole. What makes Bradbury a towering figure is his passion for reading and writing, his inspirational talks to schoolkids and college kids and — most of all — all of his wonderful stories.

  122. B. V. Larson says:

    I fervently hope that when I'm ninety years old someone will publish whatever I'm raving about.
    -BVL

  123. oldpink says:

    He sounds a bit grumpy, but I agree at least in part with what he says, particularly about our dominating government and about going back to the Moon, then to Mars.
    I have read tons of his stories and books, and he remains one of my all time favorites.
    Anyone wanting to read some of his finest short stories would be well advised to read "The Foghorn" or "There Will Come Soft Rains."
    You will see the magic that he can create.

  124. Max Profit says:

    As Mr. Bradbury passes into twilight, there will be a revolution, there will be a colonization of the moon, and there will be a colonization of Mars.
    Our eighteenth century American founders will inform our twenty-first century Martian founders as human liberty presses outward across our solar system.
    And somehow, I think it will be uneventful.

  125. Gerard Schultz says:

    I thought if we learned to cope on the moon, we could easily live on Mars. People are only interested in making it to Mars though, and not actually being there for a purpose – seeing it as a Hillary challenge like the moon program.
    Now, after we have so loved the earth that we have seriously overrun the place, I am afraid it will be a cold day in a hell before a man will find the answer to his heartbeat up there. It is not a matter of liberty anymore, but only of necessity.

  126. alan says:

    Why would someone who hates big government want a space program? That's it: let's send most of the federal government *off planet*. :-)
    Actually, space exploration is the sort of activity that government might have some reason to undertake: for military, economic, and survival oriented reasons. As opposed, say, to taxing those who work to death, socializing medical care on the basis of apophatic intuitions and charisma, and working to destroy American power and influence in the world.

  127. Miss G says:

    Green space travel? I couldn't stop laughing at that one.
    I'm sure there were people feeling pretty similiar about the motorcar when it first made an appearance. It was such an awful waste of resources!
    This article was terrible. Bradbury probably rambled on for a bit and the reporter for this article, if she was actually there, went for the 'crazy old coot' point of view. Yes, he is a crazy old coot, but there is a lot more to this interview that I'd like to hear.

  128. 1realdeal says:

    Ray is right..too many machines. Evil and Insensitive, they will render us all useless. Marshall Brain writes about it in a recent article:
    "The Iceberg"
    "The iceberg looks like this. On that same day, I interacted with five different automated systems like the kiosks in McDonald's:
    I got money in the morning from the ATM.
    I bought gas from an automated pump.
    I bought groceries at BJ's (a warehouse club) using an extremely well-designed self-service check out line.
    I bought some stuff for the house at Home Depot using their not-as-well-designed-as-BJ's self-service check out line.
    I bought my food at McDonald's at the kiosk, as described above.
    All of these systems are very easy-to-use from a customer standpoint, they are fast, and they lower the cost of doing business and should therefore lead to lower prices. All of that is good, so these automated systems will proliferate rapidly.
    The problem is that these systems will also eliminate jobs in massive numbers. In fact, we are about to see a seismic shift in the American workforce. As a nation, we have no way to understand or handle the level of unemployment that we will see in our economy over the next several decades."
    As if we don't have enough problems with unemployment already.

  129. Jsmith says:

    Thanks for the info — I thought sure he was dead.
    However, he does seem to be a little over the edge here.

  130. Dave says:

    Some of you need to learn the difference between "Big Government" that intrudes on all aspects of life (what to eat, what to drive, what to teach, etc.) and government spending on projects like space exploration. It's not the same thing.

  131. John V. Karavitis First Stephen Hawking, now Ray Bradbury? What's with this sudden outbreak of well-known scientists and SF authors wanting to abandon Mother Earth and head out to such inhospitable places as the Moon or Mars? Does these eggheads have any idea how much daily life and industry depend on enormous volumes of water? And if we indeed had the technology to move everyone off-planet, we'd more than likely have the technology (and resources) to fix whatever problems we have here on Earth. It's like the old joke: "Whoever here is from a species that has developed interstellar travel, raise your hands". But if you've invented interstellar travel, why are you bothering to travel all the way to Earth for such things as water, mineral resources, etc.? I guess even the well-educated are indeed prone to bone-headed errors in judgment. John V. Karavitis

  132. Phil says:

    This guy has lived a lifetime challenging us to think beyond our personal space. I am not at all surprised that a thinker whose days are obviously numbered, might let fly what's on his mind. He's right, you know. We are silently being choked by over-reaching, elitest goverment demigods, far too dependent on things that wouldn't serve us if the lights went out, and too eager to let the State lull us into a peaceful submission. It's creepy.

  133. Chris says:

    What Ray Bradbury is pointing out is that a President should have vision. This President's great vision is reducing the living standards of the entire world to the least common denominator. The inspiration of humanity is to achieve greater things than shared misery.

  134. Jay says:

    Ulinke most of us, Mr. Bradbury is old enough to actually remember the space program and the decades of effort needed to reach the moon.
    It really was our government at its best – thousands of the best and brightest minds working together to make a tremendous leap forward in our technology and ability. The government's role was bringing the right people, businesses, and money together, and the mission was for all Americans and we all benefited from the accomplishment and technology.
    Nowadays the government is all about bringing our money to them and bailing out their big donors and unions, and splitting the people apart using divisive racial politics. The government is too busy taxing us and buyring business under red tape to actually DO anything or build anything. And NASA's mission under Obama's leadership is to Muslims feel good about themselves!
    I am certain Americans (private individuals, NOT the government) can go back into space. I just fear the bloated federal government will tax and regulate their programs to death.

  135. Tom Foolery says:

    Yeah, I agree. Colonizing space is probably a good idea when you think about all those asteroids flying around out there looking to wipe everything out. But at the moment we can barely afford to keep governments funded and politicians pockets full. And with this move toward socialism and a possible depression coming, I don't see it happening in the near future. How on earth are we to get to the moon again?

  136. bogman says:

    Ray Bradbury just made my list of good guys and allies! Yay! Someone who has their head screwed on straight while still managing some wondrous imagination! Why do we not have a new generation of thinkers like him? Why have our youth had their minds clouded with pointless celebrity trivia and consumerism? We best wake up fast or begin to live the nightmare that others have dreamed up for us all….

  137. sirlanse says:

    The irony of 451 being on a Kindle is not lost on Ray.
    If you don't like spending to go to Mars, just imagine one super bug ala-Stephen King killing us ALL. Humans on more than one planet more than doubles our survival probability.
    It also gives us untold abilities for the future.

  138. jcc says:

    Bradbury may have legitimate points, read What the internet is doing to our brains: the shallows, for reference, by Nicholas Carr

  139. Gregor says:

    " but his imagination takes him to some dark places when it comes to contemporary politics.
    “I think our country is in need of a revolution,” Bradbury said. “There is too much government today. We've got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people.”
    Susan keep your views of others' politics to yourself. His views of limited government are shared by a growing number of Americans today.

  140. jos boersema says:

    Your nation seems to need a revolution in politics (a new & improved system into which not too many or few of the old roll over in, a system that enslaves the Government to the will of the people like never before, without relinguishing Constitutional forms of Government, Judiciary etc), a revolution in the industry & economics making the corporations beholden to who actually work, a revolution in finance which is presumably a complete overhaul, a new currency, a new banking system, investment system, consumption credit system. The rot is so extreme in the financial sector that a complete destruction of all money and starting over at starting postitions for all seems to be the only sensible way forward (for those not to cowardly to entertain such a notion, and the understanding it means emergency-economics for some time… until it is all coming together again.) Bankers and the wealthy will lose everyting except their personal belongings (within reason that is). More then this is needed still, … Good luck. Free trade is the future, but it doesn`t work the way it has been done sofar. Thank you.

  141. LGT says:

    Dementia in action:)
    The economy is in trouble, there are so many people who cannot afford to pay their bills, but Mr. Bradbury is bashing the President for… not colonizing the Moon and Mars:) Wow!!!:) Well, why don't you cover the expenses of such colonization, Ray?
    Regarding the utterly communist cliches about a government "for the people, by the people, behind the people, under the people" and so on:
    The fact that Mr. Bradbury talks this nonsense without even spending a week in the reality of socialism the way I remember it (I am originally from Bulgaria) – with the $100 average monthly salaries, terrible Russian junk cars like Lada and Moskivich and TV sets like Raduga (which were as heavy as pianos, and as noisy as choppers), the special convenient stores with goodies from the West, which were made for the communist activists and unavailable for the people, and so on and so on – while he was living as a wealthy man, proves that once he was a good writer, but now he is a complete idiot!

  142. Art says:

    Doug, read up on your history. Tip O'Neal expanded government during Reagan, and Reagan shut down government trying to stop it but could not, the media punished him severely. Newt Gingrich made government smaller under Clinton, a move Clinton vowed to reverse.

  143. Dan says:

    Ray Bradbury is amazing. His books were amazing because he's a THINKER, and someone who could extrapolate society's ills. Big government is absolutely the opiate of the masses. What better way to destroy the initiative and ethic of a man than to spoon feed him with milk from the breast of "Mommy government?" What made America great is the initiative of its people and the relatively free space they had available to practice their craft. It used to be uncommon for people to go the the feeding trough of big government but it is now all too common. If everyone is slurping government slop, who will be the farmer? That's right, China. If ass-backwards, dictatorship, top-down China can beat us at our own game, there is something Seriously wrong, and Bradbury is seriously right.

  144. Cecile says:

    He's pointing out the obvious: our nation is obsessed with power and politics and forgot how to get real work done, like dreaming and conquering other worlds, what we used to do best before global money and regressive/ tyrannical politics took over everything. Yup, we need a revolution, if that's what you want to call it; we need our way of life back, our life back!

  145. Andrew Thoma says:

    Ray Bradbury does not understand the internet and cell phones are an expensive nuisance that prevent him and others from ingnoring and still have a bit of privacy that these gadgets take away either by accident or deliberately.
    Be glad the Artificial intelligence isn't here to replace humanity just yet and inslave or eliminate all the humanity and the rich like himself including. To them he just another waste of resources living in the past.
    Mars can't be done mostly due to unbalanced tech to go back and forth reliably and further would require a decade or more of direct research being diverted from things that are more pro earth and human based like what most women want and he still can't fathom even today.
    This assessment is not based completely on fiction. Ask a woman what would make her follow his dreams and at least understand the perspective of why these things have to be done including space travel. Part of what is restraining science is aspects of the women's feminism movement and it's analysis of most issues and the big picture.
    Wonder why Mr. Bradbury doesn't push his ideas to Oprah Book club instead and see what happens. Convincing her might have a small chance of saving the space programme in the United States.
    Assume slim odds at best.

  146. Alan Kmiecik says:

    If email is so important it needs to be on a phone, shouldn't it be a phone call.
    When I see folks emailing on the phone all I can think of it, they need some real help with time management.
    Text messaging does nothing more that teach us not to interact with fellow human beings.

  147. Militia Bum says:

    Never mentioned shutting down the pentagon to pay for the mars mission.

  148. William Z says:

    Considering the trillions of dollars wasted by government on every social program, NASA worked, and put the US on the moon, The only country to do it.
    Ray, you're right.

  149. John says:

    Look at what we have become, a man who is saying that the governemnt should be for the people, of the people, and by the people is considered an old coot.

  150. Bingo says:

    God bless the Corporate States of America.

  151. John says:

    Ray Bradbury and T. Bruce are living in a daydream world.

  152. Glen2Gs says:

    Our Economy is based,in large part, upon the "Military-Industrial Complex" Model …..The Government buys Weapons…and then has to use them so that they can buy more…
    Replacing the "MIC" with the "Space Exploration Industrial Complex" would preform the same function while decreasing the chance of destroying Mankind in Needless Wars.
    As Israel is about to prove

  153. James Servello says:

    Hey, Devon….Big government has more to do with government getting more and more involved in every aspect of our lives….get rid of all the unnecessary bureaucracy and we can be a leader in technology and science, once again!!!!

  154. Stephen A. says:

    I think Ray Bradbury is onto something. We need to dream big, and do great things as a nation, or else why are we a nation at all? The US Government needs to be smaller, but not shrivel up and die. It must do things that private enterprise cannot do – or cannot fully do. The Space program in the 1960s gave us huge advances in science and even some great consumer goods. A race to Mars can once again spur a scientific revolution. IF we can still get our educational system to create great minds to make it happen. That may be a problem.

  155. Crystal says:

    "Martian Chronicles" is a fantasy book because you cannot breath on Mars without a mask. Bradbury is a fantasy writer more then a Sci-Fi writer.
    Bradbury is correct about going back to the Moon, then to Mars. We need to test the effects and any possible errors that can occur with humans living long-term off of the Earth. Travel to moon is 3-days….travel to Mars a lease 6 months.
    I understand the argument that funding NASA is a form of Big Government (see U.S. Constitution, Section 8 to fund the sciences), but Bradbury is implying the Welfare State concept (met him at Comic-Con 2010) , where people become dependent on the government for basic needs while small business cannot survive due to taxes and other forms of corporatism.
    The, Space exploration not being very "green" argument, well neither is wind power. How many birds die as a result? The ecosystem that is severely disrupted and also you need oil or a form of petroleum to keep the fans running smoothy. What happens when that drips into the soil? The "Green" ideas need to see past tomorrow and look at a lease three generation ahead.

  156. Jeff DeWitt says:

    We could have gone back to the Moon for what we've spent failed bailouts.
    Once space development gets to a certain stage it will become self supporting, and pay back tremendous benefits to us. Just building solar power satellites would have a huge positive impact on the United States, and they could be built with materials mined from the Moon and asteroids. Virtually unlimited, cheap, clean electricity.
    It doesn't have to be the government doing it either, the government can do a lot to help, both in encouragement and in staying out of the way.
    Mr. Bradbury is no fool, and he is right, we ARE in need of a revolution. If we were to put in in computer terms we need to do the equivalent of reformatting the hard drive (government) and doing a fresh install of the operating system (the Constitution).

  157. Tedberens says:

    Bradbury has always considered himself a writer of Fantasy, which he regards as writing about the impossible. Fahrenheit 451, on the other hand, was about something that would be possible. He didn't say he wants no government at all, so there is nothing inconsistent about his views if he wants to fund NASA or if he wants to incentivize private space exploration. It is the entitlements (i.e., money to which people are not entitled) which are destroying the backbone of our economy. And the old man knows it.

  158. Jimbo Bimbo says:

    To fibber mcgee: You whine that it will take a lot of big government to go to the moon and mars; you're mostly wrong. Your reading comprehension is fading fast; Bradbury does not refer to the already existing NASA and governmental agencies that have existed since the 60's. He refers to the currently GROWING government. And as far as this being a boondoggle… you give yourself away as a whining Marxist liberal snug in the environmentalist fascist shadows. Un-green activities? Get real. Go back to your lord Al Gore and disappear from our lives.

  159. Jimbo Bimbo says:

    Liberals/Democrats fear this kind of talk from Bradbury… they will now discredit him, call him an old coot, say his glasses are too tight… anything to preserve their precious "O" and the agenda of massive raging socialism.

  160. Bibliophile says:

    Rad Bradbury is one of my favorite authors, but he seems to be speaking through a filter of old age. Martian Chronicles is not scifi? Then what is?

  161. Bill says:

    Ray is one of America's all time greatest authors. I read his books in high school and it lead to a life time career in Engineering. I even worked on projects that provided power to the Space Shuttle. He has inspired youth to pursue careers in the sciences from past to the future. His legacy will live on forever.
    Love you Ray. You are right. I was great on a slide rule in college. Think how much good that ability would do for me today.
    Think fundamentals. The laws of Physics never change. Regardless of what your new tools might tell you!!

  162. Heartland Patriot says:

    I read many of Mr. Bradbury's stories as a kid…I loved pretty much every one. I'm not sure if we'd see eye to eye on everything, but I do love his stance on big government. Give 'em h311, Ray!

  163. Steve Williams says:

    Amen Mr. Bradbury! We are so tied to our technology that we cannot function without it. Our government has grown to such monstrous proportions that it is no longer a government BY the people, it's a government TO the people.
    It won't be long before we lose the space race, if not to Communist China, then to India. Other than puttering around with the shuttles for the past 30 years, we have done very little to expand our presence off this planet.
    Bradbury is one of the last true visionaries in this world…

  164. Winston Smith says:

    Simply put, Bradbury doesn't want us turning into a combination of The Veldt and Fahrenheit 451, and between technology and Big Government, we've long been on that path…

  165. Bobo says:

    Bradbury didn't write much science fiction. His books are very un-technical. They are fiction that happens to take place on Mars. Read Larry Nivin if you want real sci-fi. Exploring space sounds fun, but what are we going to get out of it? We can't travel to other stars, and there is nowhere else in the solar system we could really colonize. We need water to live anywhere, and it is too heavy to carry into space. We would be limited to planets or moons that have lots of ice.

  166. carlb says:

    love the guy love his books avid reader as teenager. especially the illustrated man. america is in need of a revolution. in the last 50yrs we have lost what made america great. the minute we passed the welfare bill america was doomed to what is happening now. we were transformed from a solid hardworking belief to a hand out belief. every little problems we whine like little girls. pre welfare we would have put boots on and survived. we are now a lazy populace that relies on others to hold our hands while we cry! if we continue america will not last thru this century. i have been to the far east and lived their. i can say without a doubt they will rule the world america will be relegated to a country like greece or spain. ray is right this country needs a revolution. the great swath of states in the middle are tired of giving handouts to the east and west coasts!

  167. Aleric says:

    So a much lauded and awarded writer is not worth listening to simply because he speaks out against a swelling Liberal government and the Pretender in Chief in particular? I am sure that if Bradbury supported Big Government and spoke about increasing the Liberal agenda he would be held in great esteem and quoted often. But utter a word against Obama and now he is a kook and a radical.
    Alinski would be proud of the LAT, they are following his rules perfectly.

  168. Jeff U says:

    You folks are being too literal with Ray's comments. His point is "we" are too tied to machines. People can't go through the day wothout their cell phone…It is a phone, voice mail, TV, text service, radio, MP 3 player, etc. We have to be entertained 24/7. Fahrenheit 451 pointed that out. Montag's wife was so tied to her wall TVs that spewed no information. How many of you can sit in your car and drive to work in silence? How many of you go home and just read a book? That has been his point. We don't think for ourselves. Our attention span is getting shorter as he pointed out in the book (published in 1948). We are letting government do it for us. He is not saying abandon machines and technology. He is saying put them in their proper place along with government.

  169. I have always enjoyed his work, and remember The Ray Bradbury Theatre back on HBO in the 80's.
    As someone is confused by Blackberries, IPods, and the like, I am glad that someone who was so forward thinking at one time has become a bit of a Luddite, like me!

  170. Jsck Kinch(1uncle) says:

    We don't need a bloody revolution, just stop breeding the least educated on welfare to make millions of bad voters. It will be a slow, peaceful revolution. STOP spending money and/or granting benefits to special interest groups.

  171. Christy says:

    The Martian Chronicles, according to Bradbury's definition of Sci-Fi, would be considered fantasy or just plain-old fiction. To Bradbury, Science Fiction is in the realm of the POSSIBLE. If your definition of sci-fi takes in all that is sciencey and fictionesque, then it would fit. Read up on the definitions to see with whom you agree.
    In Re: If the "Martian Chronicles" wasn't sci-fi, then what was it?
    Posted by: Patricia | August 16, 2010 at 09:20 AM

  172. JRinDallas says:

    Too much government or we should go to the moon? Not sure but last I checked there aren't many private companies chomping at the bit to devote the necessary capital outlays for establishing a base on the moon and rockets to Mars.
    Replace 'go to the moon' with 'my Medicare/Social Security' or 'my USDA check' and Bradbury would fit in well with most of the senseless Tea Party/GOP Rubes in this country.

  173. john__doe says:

    Quote: "We've got too many Internets."
    How can you criticize something you are totally clueless to? Sigh, and who was the last person that thought the internet was plural?

  174. nhthinker says:

    Do you believe in evolution as generally described by Darwin?
    Every species that loses its "Frontier Mentality" is destined for failure.
    Our species was honed on warring tribalism combined with growth in commerce and then exploratory science focused on war efficiency and commerce efficiency.
    Humanism has attacked the "Frontier Mentality" at almost every turn.
    The human species needs a sect with a frontier mentality or it will not survive… Obama thinks there is no need for a priority for frontier mentality, but Bradury has it exactly right.
    The human species is likely to be displaced by a genetically modified one within the next 300 years. They will likely be Borg like. If humans are lucky, the new species will treat humans as pets – with the normal spayed and neutering of domestic pets.

  175. RdRthchld says:

    Ray doesn't Sing the Body Electric?

  176. Tony says:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't exploring the last frontier create an enormous amount of jobs? Do you people want a new ecomony that we in the United States would lead for the next hundred years or more? Well there it is. Instead of trying to export cars we would be exporting space technology and manufactured hardware.

  177. David H says:

    What a shame that he is such a know-nothing Luddite. But truly I'm not surprised.
    Upon rereading Fahrenheit 451 in my twenties, I realized that his level of sophistication met mine when I was twelve… but mine continued to grow. His work is best read at that age, and left alone thereafter. (Truffaut's stylish film is worth watching; it transcends the original material.)
    As for his politics, he couldn't be more naive. I'm sure he'd like to return to the America he portrayed in Illustrated Man, or Something Wicked, but that place doesn't exist.
    Obama 2012.

  178. Jim in Alaska says:

    Bradbury's right. However due to the dumbing of America by mass media and nanny state government, as clearly demonstrated by many of the comments here, I believe the serfs lack rationality, love the status quo and will never revolt.
    Alas, as per de Maistre: "Every country has the government that it deserves."

  179. HoustonTexan says:

    After reading most of your comments, I'm glad I live in Houston and not L.A.

  180. Rodney B says:

    You don't get it. He's talking about the survival of the species. We HAVE to get off this rock. We are one pandemic, or nuclear confrontation, or errant asteroid away from annihilation.
    We need the moon to get to Mars. We need Mars as a hedge against the end of life on earth. That's the reason he said, "Once we colonize Mars we will live forever."
    The colonization of the Western Hemisphere did not become profitable to the European powers for decades. (Columbus died poor.) What price is too high if it's the difference between life and death for humanity?

  181. Milo D. Cooper says:

    @fibber (sic) mcgee: "Our going to the moon and Mars would invove A LOT of big government, boondoggles, waste, and plenty of un-green activities."
    Bulsh!t. There's no reason the private sector couldn't play a significant if not a majority role in the kind of ongoing space exploration that Bradbury's talking about. Assuming out of hand that the government is the *only* entity that can do something is quite frequently mistake no. 1. As for un-green activities, who cares; the Earth-killing doom and gloom is just hype drummed up by anti-capitalists in an effort to obtain political power for themselves. I know it, Bradbury knows it, Vaclav Klaus knows it, and so does everyone else who hasn't been duped into fearing and loathing Western culture.

  182. David says:

    "If the "Martian Chronicles" wasn't sci-fi, then what was it?"
    Fantasy. Bradbury always made the distinction in his writings between science fiction and fantasy. Science fiction, he argued, is something that could happen, but we aren't there yet (scientifically, technologically, etc). A book about colonizing another planet, for example, is sci-fi. Fantasy is something that could never happen. Since the Martian Chronicles is not only about settling Mars, but finding that Mars was full of golden-eyed Martians sailing down rivers of wine, Bradbury always categorized it as fantasy.
    "I love Ray Bradbury as an author. Unfortunately his ideas about politics … are really off the mark."
    Really? A society by the people, of the people and for the people is 'off the mark'? Our founders would beg to differ.

  183. Janet says:

    Ray Bradbury, come over to the Kindle side…we have cookies..
    I would love to be able to read his books on my Kindle

  184. Charles says:

    Does he not realize that do all these space exploration will require "too many machines"? He may have been a dreamer, perhaps 50 years ago, but unfortunately his time has ultimately passed. Following the logic of a 90-year-old man today is obviously nonsense. He should be enjoying his retirement in silence.

  185. Shane says:

    fibber mcgee said: …"and plenty of un-green activities" What a retarded statement! "un-green" LOL! I don't think you are fibber mcgee at all….you sound more like "molly"! LOL!

  186. rw says:

    How many ways did the space program help us? Hmmm….satellites, mobile communications, GPS, metallurgy, propulsion technology, mass transit, etc. etc. etc. Much more than just velcro. I say "did" because NASA has now been turned into some Muslim outreach touchy feely bureaucracy. What we lack now is true vision. Cutting the legs out from under NASA is the act of an inept lawyer in over his head. Scrapping the Constellation project is so short sighted. But, throwing trillions at social programs is now top priority. Might as well douse a pile of cash with gasoline. I never thought I'd live to see the day where we rely on the Russians to get our astronauts to the space station. So many things are being turned upside down in this country, and Bradbury, as crotchety as he may be, is speaking some truth.

  187. JDubya says:

    This from a man who literally changed and shaped OUR world. His prose must be absorbed into our lives. They say history repeats itself when people do not learn it. This man is not giving history lessens, he is telling us the future history of our nation. Listen to one of the drivers of society, his influence was from what he envisioned and now his visions are warning us.
    Wake up.

  188. Karen says:

    Reduce the cost by offering sponsorship to Wal-Mart, McDonald's, et al. Let them put their logos on the space mission in return for them providing mucho dollars.
    Libertatian win-win position.

  189. Bradbury fans should head to <a href="http://www.spotlight.ucla.edu/ray-bradbury/” target=”_blank”>www.spotlight.ucla.edu/ray-bradbury/ for UCLA's online tribute to Ray, which includes a series of exclusive interviews with him, including his birthday message to his fans.. The main connection between Bradbury and UCLA is that he typed "Fahrenheit 451" in the basement of Powell Library where he was able to rent a typewriter for 10 cents per half hour, when he did not have an office, just getting started on his career. You can also leave him a birthday greeting at the website. Check it out.

  190. Rudey Obnoxious says:

    Ray Bradbury's comments in the article were brilliant. It's you people that are full of knit.

  191. dk says:

    no doubt he is a visionary….he has seen the past and big government "here to help us" smacks of communism and Hitlers socialist agenda…the question is who wants "the governments so called help" People should beware….the governments help always comes at the incrimental expense of freedom loss. Some day we will wake up to book burning and a hellish 1984 socialist nightmare.

  192. James says:

    The only way that the human race will ensure it's survival is to spread out from this planet. Anything that reverses progress towards that goal is bad. It does not matter if you are politically liberal or conservative. If you are liberal, look forward to the advances in technology it will produce and the reduction in the number of people on the planet. We never would of went to space in the first place with Obama's myoptic perspective. He has basically indicated even prior to being elected that it isn't worthwhile to leave this planet until it is a Nirvana and no one is without. That has never been and it never will be. However, a new frontier would produce huge benefits to our species (including all those in need) and all other species that live with us here. I'm not a child, I realize that isn't immediately able to happen, but it will never happen until we start to work on it. We have been grinding in neutral during the shuttle years and now and an dumb politican has thrown the shifter in reverse. That is what Bradbury was saying and I agree.

  193. Rutherford says:

    Dear Ray Bradbury,
    You once said, "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." Amen to that.
    Q : What do you, Tila Tequila, and Jim Cramer have in common?
    A: Drinks on the Drinkonomist.
    Google Drinkonomist…..Outrageous Drinks for Outrageous People.

  194. Alan says:

    I like Ray Bradbury and he's been a hero of mine ever since I started reading for enjoyment, but even I, an admitted Libertarian, thinks he might have gone a wee bit loony. Mind you, he's got the excuse of age and maturity for his madness, the people currently ruining our country haven't either.
    No matter what he says, whether I agree or disagree with it, I will always hold him up as my favorite writer.

  195. I love him SO much. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE him.
    His work will enrich people's lives for many, many years, long after today's politicians are completely forgotten . . . even "Blago."

  196. Fred2 says:

    Larry Berg posted on August 16, 2010 at 09:41 AM
    "Great author-yes. Social commentary? Not so much."
    So, I guess you're disappointed that Bradbury refuses to fit into the "sci-fi writer = hardcore liberal" stereotype.

  197. Ranger_Ric says:

    He is right about many things but most of all, he is correct that we must move out into space to survive as a species.
    There have been many extinction level events on Earth and there will be another, it is simply a matter of time. For every civilization in the universe, the exact same scenario must play out. Either move science along fast enough to get off your own planet and colonize space or face the inevitable extinction of your species.
    The Apollo program was not to get to the moon, it was the advance of technology to develop ICBMs and once we had them, we forgot about or space program. Had we continued, we would already have bases on the moon and possibly Mars.
    Nothing is more important to humankind than to develop or space program, in the long run it will be our only means of survival.

  198. Fred2 says:

    Michael posted on August 16, 2010 at 11:04 PM
    "Another "celebrity" voicing an opinion noone cares about, where's the story?
    We have enough experts and well informed people that have been involved in our space programs that a meaningful article with respected figures could have been made,but instead the pubic gets another fluff piece from our "news" media."
    Frankly NASA would have gotten man to Mars by now if we had a President with Bradbury's vision and passion. Instead, our current POTUS (Barack Obama) thinks the space agency is a tool to boost the self-esteem of backward, woman stoning Muslim theocracies.
    Does ANYONE believe JFK would waste all NASA's valuable resources on such PC nonsense?

  199. Todd says:

    Remember that during Kennedy's presidency, the government was a tenth of what it is now.
    Most of the socialist big government programs came from that Great Society his predecessor, LBJ, dumped on us.
    We went to the moon in machines that are "dumber" than your stove, in rockets that, in perspective, cost less than 1 day's worth of our current government.
    It can be done with a smaller government, because it was done with one.

  200. Rick C says:

    He is all over the place in this article. However, he is right. We need to go to Mars then one of Jupiters' moons. We need to have a redundant system of survival. It would cost trillions? Well, our species could become extinct tomorrow from a comet or asteriod or anything else lurking in or outside our solar system(or even on our own planet). What does debt matter at that point? This would need to be a cooperative venture from all nations to go to Mars. Let's not burden NASA. Let it be a calling for all nations. However, I do not even remotely think we should go to the moon. It's too risky to mess with and could compromise how earth exists and functions if we start to mine it for materials.

  201. Doug Canon says:

    God bless you Ray! I am right there with you good buddy. Have been for the last 40 years. Of the many stupid things our goverment is doing right now, abandoning the study of space is right up there at the top. I hear NASA is going around plugging up oil leaks these days.

  202. M.Q. Bitsko says:

    This guy still thinks it's 1955. Who would WANT to live on the Moon, or Mars? Visit, yes. That would be cool. But spend your whole life in an underground pressure chamber, recycling your own dookie? No thanks. I'll take extinction. The simple reality is there will NEVER be permanent human colonies anywhere but on Earth. Ever. Nobody in their right mind would want to do it.

  203. Lamar says:

    "And lay off my man, Barry O. He's doing a great job cleaning up the piles of poop left by the previous administrations."
    Hey Hyde, You should get in touch with Mr. Bradbury, he would probably be interested in writing a book about the planet YOU'VE been living on.

  204. Doug Canon says:

    I do hope Mr. Bradbury reads these post. As it would be wonderful if he knew this story.
    In my freshmen year of high school. We had been taken to the library to learn the Dewy Decimal system. The Librarian over heard me tell another student "I don't like to read". She stuck two books in my hand and told me "Take these home, read these, write a report on each and THEN tell me you don't like to read. You have two weeks."
    The two books were, "R is for Rocket", and "The Martian Cronicals". Both by this beloved author. Not only did I ask the librarian if she had any more stuff like this….I became an avid reader.
    Thank you Mr. Bradbury. Thank you very much.

  205. MemyselfandI says:

    There is wisdom in his words.

  206. 451Club says:

    Everyone should read this part again:
    "…but his imagination takes him to some dark places when it comes to contemporary politics.
    'I think our country is in need of a revolution,' Bradbury said. 'There is too much government today. We've got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people."
    … am I the only one shocked by this author calling a phrase (loosely) taken from the Gettysburg Address as being a "dark place"???
    It was as if he was quoting from "Mein Kampf" or Mao's Little Red Book. sheesh. Revolution indeed.

  207. Mea says:

    Thank you! What a breath of fresh air!! Technology has it's advantages to be sure, but it is destroying the individuality we have as a people, a country. If they ever completly removed books, I don't know what would become of humanity!! SAVE THE BOOKS!

  208. Benjamin says:

    I see a lot of similar comments talking about the cost of space exploration. The cost of space exploration is rather small compared to the cost of a lot of destructive things the government spends money on. Who's to say we can't privatize space exploration? People always assume we can't do anything without government funding. We're not talking about today. We are talking about the future.

  209. If we're going to colonize space, we should start with the moon, mostly because it's closest. We should send robots to build a high quality colony before we bother to send anyone to live there. Any space colony will be very expensive in the long run if it's at all dependent on Earth. This is why the space station is so expensive. If we're going to build a space colony, the main priority has to be making it 100% self sufficient or it's doomed.

  210. SCC says:

    Niall Ferguson concurs – it's simple math and common-sense: you can't spend beyond your means and you can't punish hard work and success (no matter how intoxicating "Social Justice" sounds). American an Empire 'On the Edge of Chaos' and Collapse. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/07/ameri

  211. Big Ugly says:

    This electronic world WILL be the death of us all.

  212. Ed F says:

    Decades ago, in the 70's if memory serves, I attended the first performance of the stage play version of The Martian Chronicles at the U of A Fairbanks (Alaska). Mention was made of a message sent by Ray Bradbury in which he stated he would have liked to attend, but he does not fly (or at least does not like to if he can at all avoid it)

  213. T money says:

    Ray Bradbury is also responsible for the story behind the famous Disney icon "Spaceship Earth" located at EPCOT Center.

  214. Mike Lorrey says:

    fibber hasn't thought things out. Don't need government to get to the moon or mars. SpaceX will get us there in less than half the time for 1/10th the money.
    Patricia,
    The Martian Chronicles was thinly veiled westerns and ghost stories.

  215. Booger Mcfarts says:

    Ahhh yes which revolution should it be. How will this not turn into a civil war? Or a religious war? Maybe a racial war? How are we going to know the enemy? They want chaos so they can fulfill their order. Can there be a peaceful revolution? All I know is something needs to be done and its not going to be pretty.

  216. Teabaggers United says:

    Did this old white man say anything when Georgie Boy was ruining everything in the U.S. from 2000 to 2008?
    Teabaggers show their true racist selves whenever they speak.

  217. Aspartame says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  218. Carney says:

    Once again, we spend less than a half percent of the federal budget ($18 billion out of $3,600 billion) on NASA. A full-fledged but no-frills program of manned Mars exploration (the Mars Direct plan) would cost $55 billion over the ten year life of the program, easily within tha $180 we'd spend on NASA in that timeframe. We can easily afford to do Mars.
    And we're far closer to being able to launch a manned Mars mission now than we were to being able to send a manned Moons mission in 1961, when Kennedy challenged America to do it by the end of the 60s (which we did in July 1969).
    Bradbury is completely right that it's scandalous, the stagnation and drift the space program has been mired in since the Apollo Moon program glory years of 1961-1972.

  219. carl says:

    I have to agree on one point: The printed word will outlast all forms of electronic media. A book is foolproof. As long as you have sunlight or a candle, you can read it.
    A book doesn't become obsolete. Can you remember the 8" floppy? or the 5 1/4" floppy? Where are they now?
    A book is immune to EMP. What happens to all the world's electronic devices if we have a repeat of the 1859 Carrington Event?
    A book is harder to ban or tamper with, than an electronic file. What if the Federalist Papers existed only in electronic form? What if Pelosi and Obama decided to outlaw them? They could be declared Hate Speech, and deleted from public memory forever.

  220. Teacher_Man says:

    Does anyone else hear Professor Leo Farnsworth's voice from "Futurama" when you read Bradbury's quotes in this article?

  221. StillOutThere says:

    Ray is not in a "dark place" about wanting a revolution to overthrow our CURRENT administration in Washington. The LA Times must be in the dark place. Ray is the one living in the light!
    The light is on at Ray's place and fading at the speed of light at the LA Times.
    Save the US. To the moon with Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Barney, ad infinitum.

  222. Ray Bradbury is Absolutely correct too Big Government is in the way of Progress in this nation – get the government out of our lives and lets finally have a TRUE Free-Market system, let private innovators get us to the moon and beyond. They are already proving that possible w/ the private space trips (for the rich at this point) to the outer atmospheres of earth. What is the government doing to get us there, nothing thats what.
    Government is too busy taking away our rights & privacy, too busy taxing us and spending our treasure and spilling blood fighting WARS of aggression and occupation to be worried about our future and our future in space.
    It's time to END Big government, end the oppression and let creative FREE minds flourish again and look toward the stars.
    peace. love. anarchy

  223. Jessy says:

    What it seems none of you realize, is that space exploration and colonization doesn't REQUIRE government involvement. Space exploration can and should be led by private entrepreneurs with the desire and passion to see and discover. I think what Mr. Bradbury may be alluding to, with regard to too much technology, is our dependence on it to dictate our lives. Kids can't spell anymore because of text messages, have no accountability anymore because of faceless communication, and have no passion and desire to learn anymore because of the realism of movies and video games that rob our imaginations. Not that any of those things are "bad" in and of themselves, they just have become the fulcrum of our society.

  224. Jim Vincent says:

    The guy hates Clinton and Obama. What's not to love?

  225. Rivenburg says:

    Ray is smart enough to know it doesn't matter how we get off the planet, it matters only that we do. We stay here in the nest, we die here as a species. One rock is all it takes, we COULD be protecting ourselves 100% today if we werent so worried about the other monkeys hitting us in the head with a stick. I cry every time I see 2001 or 2010 space Odessey. There is NO technical or economic reason we aren't on par with the technology presented in those two movies. Humans better wake up and realise the lions ARE circling in the dark, time to stop beating each other in the head with sticks and turn our attention outward. We will have ONE chance to cover our collective behinds. Blow that & it's ALL OVER.

  226. tom says:

    seems like ray may already be in space

  227. Johnny says:

    Like most folks, I've read Bradbury's work in school and on my own and like much of his work, but his commentary seems a bit off. It's odd when you hear people ask for 'big' things as if it will spontaneously happen or the private sector will do it. For example, they'll build roads and, in an attempt to profit from the venture, will charge tolls everywhere. Some things just don't translate well into the private sector and space exploration is one of those things. As for too big government, the GOP are responsible for massive debts and expansion into our private lives. The worst thing the Dems have done have generally been to follow the GOP along with such things as the Patriot Acts, the Iraq War, and the bank bailout, which should have involved a govt. take-over, break-up and selling off of the too big to fail banks. I'm all for govt. staying out of our private lives, which the GOP is not in favor of, but I think we need some sort of control and regulation of corporations and corruptions, which the GOP couldn't care less about, including Ray's boy Awnald.

  228. John David Galt says:

    Obama's election *is* a revolution, but it's in the wrong direction, toward total dictatorship. Unfortunately he seems to have majority support.
    If a group of red states declare independence, I'll be first in line to move there.

  229. Liam says:

    I was sitting next to Ray when he gave this interview over the phone. We looked over the questions together beforehand and we chatted about his answers afterwards. To respond randomly to a few of these comments: Ray is elderly and his phrasing may seem quaint to some people, but he's not a disgruntled coot. He remains engaged and he's got as many liberal opinions as conservative. Like his writing, he just doesn't fall easily into any category (and he was deeply touched by the birthday card that Barack and Michelle Obama sent him). He's right of course, that we shouldn't have abandoned the moon, and that we should continue to pride ourselves on what we have and can continue to contribute to mankind's expansion into the greater universe. It's big THINKING, not big government; by the latter I believe he means goverment making descisions FOR people, not goverment filling its proper role as a means for realizing agreed-upon goals. And space travel/colonization is as green as green gets, in the long run–trust me.

  230. LA Native says:

    Are you serious? You call this a feature story? Was this news or just another perfect example of how there are no journalistic or moral standards in our society? You snag an interview with an aging legend who is clearly borderline senile – and you print this junk and now he sounds crazy?
    Then to make matters worse, readers comment attacking him.
    Makes me wonder if you'd do the same thing to your aging grandmothers.
    Classy. Real classy.

  231. Michael Taylor says:

    I have enormous respect for Ray Bradbury as a writer and a person, but it's much too late for moon shots or meaningless manned expeditions to Mars. We should certainly keep sending robots to continue interplanetary exploration, but leave the humans behind to clean up the immense mess right here on earth.
    An all-out push to colonize the moon and Mars would only bankrupt us all as our real and only viable home is destroyed by the coming wave of global warming, environmental and ecological collapse, and increasingly violent conflicts over diminishing resources. Even if the Chinese or Indians eventually succeed in putting a team of humans on Mars, they will find themselves looking back at a ruined planet.
    The future is right here, not in space — and right now, our collective future is looking very bleak indeed.

  232. no time says:

    What's so 'dark' about revolution ?

  233. David Jackel says:

    I deeply admire Ray Bradbury's work, which is why I'm saddened to learn that he's gone insane.
    If he wants to blast big government and technology, fine, but then he really can't bemoan the lack of a second Race to Space. Technological innovations and (big) government investment were responsible for putting us on the moon, and would certainly be required on a much grander scale to get us to Mars.
    “I think our country is in need of a revolution. There is too much government today. We've got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people.”
    Yes, that's why we have elections, not revolutions.
    “We have too many cellphones. We've got too many Internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now.”
    We'll get to Mars by getting rid of machines? And it's called the "internet," singular.
    So without government funding and all these machines, "We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever."
    "We will live forever"? Yup, insane.
    A scientist, or simply a rational thinker, this man is not. Still, he was once pretty sharp, and a wonderful writer too.

  234. BCW says:

    Ray Bradbury's royalties wouldn't pay for a ham sandwich, let alone a trip to mars.

  235. [...] others are starting to call for revolution. See this, this, this, this and this. (For those who are calling for revolution, please read the [...]

  236. dgfdg says:

    dgfdg

  237. Tom says:

    The government is now putting a person in jail for selling goats milk? Now they want to pass a law, that we can not grow our own gardens. Enough is enough and its time for the people to control our republic and the corporation is just another corporation like microsoft, except they have gotten away with murder and corruption, and now want to destroy our right and liberties. The constitution say we can dump the government if it is not for the people and it's time to dump them for sure. One way or another.

  238. tom says:

    also must be approved by site admins now. Where our freedom of speech. Never had this crap except for the last few years now. Big brother probally reads everything they can. These powerful and wicked people have to go. No different than hitler?

  239. John Smith says:

    This guy is crazy

  240. [...] a 2010 interview in which Bradbury declares that, “There is too much government today," and also calls for a [...]

  241. [...] a 2010 interview in which Bradbury declares that, “There is too muchgovernment today,” and also calls for a [...]

  242. [...] Ray Bradbury hates big government: “Our country is in need of another revolution” [...]

  243. [...] as reported by The Times in 2010, wasn’t particularly fond of the direction the country was heading in, criticizing the Obama [...]

  244. [...] as reported by The Times in 2010, wasn’t particularly fond of the direction the country was heading in, criticizing the Obama [...]

  245. [...] as reported by The Times in 2010, wasn’t particularly fond of the direction the country was heading in, criticizing the Obama [...]

  246. [...] a libertarian view loosely, but there’s also no context for it. The only source for it is a brief sketch in the LA Times that looks like they took a few of Bradbury’s most controversial statements and pieced them [...]

  247. [...] as reported by The Times in 2010, wasn’t particularly fond of the direction the country was heading in, criticizing the Obama [...]

  248. [...] device, he said. “I said to Yahoo, ‘Prick up your ears and go to hell.’ “LINK Reply With Quote [...]

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  253. Guest says:

    Considering the NSA and IRS, Bradbury was correct.

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