“All isn’t well with the world”

I recently read Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.” This dystopian story is about a world where books are outlawed and firemen burn books instead of putting out fires. It has often been misinterpreted to be a book about government censorship. Its real message is that modern media simplifies complex topics to the point of making them meaningless.

In the story Shakespeare is reduced down to a one page summary in order to hold the attention of the audience. This example is chilling considering the number of 3-5 minute recap shows that are cropping up everywhere on regular TV these days. If you can show me everything that I should know about a 44 minute episode of “The Shield” in 3 minutes why did you bloat it to 44 minutes in the first place? (The cynical answer is advertising revenue but thats for a different rant)

I appreciate the “previously on..” recaps at the beginning of a show because they don’t attempt to show you everything that has happened they are meant to give upcoming events in the story context that otherwise would have to be done with boring exposition. Recapping every episode in a few minutes though is dangerously close to the nightmare that Bradbury envisioned with complex and vivid dramatic works reduced to lifeless bits of imagery.

Jerry Sutton

I am, at heart, a software developer though I am currently managing a small Information Technology department for a mid sized company located in my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. When I am not playing with the latest smart-phone or trying to become inspired to write code I read almost anything I can get my hands on from Pulp Era adventures to biographies of world leaders and everything in between.

One Comment

  1. For me the important lesson is that you aren’t getting the full story in these little blips. There is so much more going on. That is what frustrates me with books being made into movies/TV shows. They can’t possibly do it justice so they put these abridged/mangled similar to the book stories. OR they think the story won’t sell so they change it all together. (i.e. I am Legend)

Comments are closed.