Comedy writer has exactly the right response to his kid's Fahrenheit 451 permission slip

What a wonderfully clear and point-by-point exegesis of the comedian’s response. I especially liked the way you treated the developmentally disabled as an aside. /s


Indeed! Perhaps the poster will stick around the BBS awhile and let us enjoy their razor sharp wit. We would be blessed to have them reminding us of how awfully clever they are in comparison to the rest of us. /s


I didn’t find it especially witty. I thought he did a fair job of making his point, and that it was a point worth making.


At chrismas in Iowa my in laws were talking about the twin cities. They are very conservative. My MIL started a sentence with, “it’s such a liberal…” and looked at me unsure of how to continue. I suggested “mecca?” All I got were blank stares.


Bradbury has said many things about Fahrenheit 451 over the years. Especially in later years, he did deny it was about censorship, but he has also at times said it was about censorship.


Perhaps he was, of course, messing with us. As he was wont to do in his writing.


It looks more like it was part of the class assignment, otherwise why would the student write it? School policy permission slips would be written by the school.
The note itself basically references Verne’s challenge about profanity that you are referencing as well. It also looks to be written based on a quick glance of its wikipedia entry.
Maybe we should follow his Twitter feed since some others have noted this. I’m sure his reaction letter will be used in the lesson on how we strongly defend our freedoms.


If its widely interpreted as a book about censorship, and that’s the message most readers get, the intention of the author is almost sort of secondary, no?


Awww! I miss all the best chew toys trolls. Stupid job…



Well played. ::applause::


If he didn’t want it open to interpretation, Bradbury should’ve stuck to writing TV scripts :yum:
{see what I did there?}


I agree.

I think I’m confused by this whole thing. It sounds like the article — and people here — are pleased by the note-writer subtly pointing out the ironic threat of censorship that the school was lazily enforcing. But it seems kind of clear to me that that was the intent of the teacher, no? It’s rather too neatly presented to be believable, otherwise.


I think we need need to diagram this…


In Brecht’s Galileo:
Andrea: Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero.
Galileo: No, Andrea: Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.
(Unglücklich das Land, das Helden nötig hat)

I would say of any country where ridiculous things like the OP about Fahrenheit 451 happens, “Unhappy is the land where librarians have to be heroes.” But we are fortunate in the West that we do have defenders of accessible knowledge.


Treading on delicate ground here; I would cite the Bible as a good example of the problems caused by that approach.


Those of us who, despite never having been there, have read Garrison Keillor’s books several times over or followed the radio shows, would be utterly unsurprised.


Except the Bible was written by a smorgasbord of authors, assembled by an undemocratic committee of politically connected men who were in the right place at the right time, and contradicts itself frequently. I have only one Bible on my bookshelf:


What do you mean “except”? I was making the point - perhaps badly - that the problem with the Bible was that people got away with putting their own interpretation on it regardless of the intentions (and worldviews) of the authors. The start of higher and lower criticism (and proper archaeology) was what revealed what the authors of the various bits now found in the Bible were actually on about, and what their world picture was*. This of course has completely discredited any idea of divine authorship, claim to authority, or using the Bible as some kind of handbook for living - except among the sort of people who…better not rant here.

*Edit - worth pointing out too that quite a lot of 19th century academic theology textbooks in the UK had to be written in somewhat guarded language as being officially Christian was necessary to keep your academic job at Oxford or Cambridge. Sir James Frazer wrote a 12-volume series of comparative mythology without ever drawing out the obvious parallels with Christianity, or even the OT narratives. It took the fundamentalists of the day quite a long time to see it coming.


Only that it was never not going to be shoehorned by cherry-pickers to suit their purposes. It was designed that way. So I’d say that if reader interpretation is the problem, then the problem is inextricable from the Bible itself.

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