Guest Post: Those Who Don't Build Must Burn

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Those Who Don't Build Must Burn

“Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery;
there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries of more.
School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories,
languages dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally
almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure
lies about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?”   –
Captain Beatty in Fahrenheit 451


Ray Bradbury wrote his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451
in 1950. Most kids were required to read this book when they were
seventeen years old. Having just re-read the novel at the age of
forty-seven makes you realize how little you knew at seventeen. It is
165 pages of keen insights into today’s American society. Bradbury’s
hedonistic dark future has come to pass. His worst fears have been
realized. The American public has willingly chosen to be distracted and
entertained by electronic gadgets 24 hours per day. Today, reading books
is for old fogies. Most people think Bradbury’s novel was a warning
about censorship. It was not. It was a warning about TV and radio
turning the minds of Americans to mush.

It is now sixty years later and his warning went unheeded. A self
imposed ignorance by a vast swath of Americans is reflected in these

  • 33% of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
  • 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70% of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57% of new books are not read to completion.
  • There are over 17,000 radio stations and over 2,000 TV stations in America today.
  • Each day in the U.S., people spend on average 4.7 hours watching TV,
    3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.
  • The projected average number of hours an individual (12 and older) will spend watching television this year is 1,750.
  • In a 65-year life, the average person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.
  • Number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child –  20,000
  • Number of videos rented daily in the U.S. – 6 million
  • Number of public library items checked out daily – 3 million
  • Percentage of Americans who can name The Three Stooges – 59%
  • Percentage who can name at least three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court – 17%

When Ray Bradbury wrote his novel in the basement of the UCLA library
on a pay per hour typewriter, television was in its infancy. In 1945
there were only 10,000 television sets in all of America. By 1950, there
were 6 million sets. The US population was 150 million living in 43
million households. Only 9% of these households had a TV. There was one
TV for every 25 people. Americans read books and newspapers to be aware
of their world. Today, there are 335 million television sets in the
country. The US population is 310 million living in 115 million
households. There is a TV in 99% of these households, with an average of
3 TVs per household. Your reality is whatever the corporate media
decides is your reality.



Bradbury envisioned gigantic flat screen wall TVs that interacted
with the audience and people wearing seashell earbuds so they could
listen to the radio. Anything to keep from reading, thinking,
questioning or wondering. Today, anesthetized kids and non-thinking
adults sit in front of the boob tube with their Playstation controllers
in hand and a microphone attached to their ear, killing zombies while
talking to their fellow warriors, sitting in their own living rooms
somewhere in the world. Apple has sold 260 million iPods since 2001 that
allow people to zone out and live in their own private music world,
never needing to interact or associate with their fellow humans.
Millions of Blackberry addicts roam the streets of our cities like
androids, forcing alert pedestrians to bob and weave to avoid head-on
collisions with these connected egomaniacs. They are overwhelmed with
their self importance.

For those who have not read the book since high school, or have never read the novel, here is a quick summary of Fahrenheit 451:

Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books in a futuristic American
city. In this dystopian world, firemen start fires rather than putting
them out. The people in this society do not read books, enjoy nature,
spend time by themselves, think independently, or have meaningful
conversations. Instead, they drive at extreme speeds, watch excessive
amounts of television on wall-size sets, and listen to the radio on
“Seashell Radio” sets attached to their ears. Guy meets a girl that
makes him rethink his priorities. He starts to question book burning and
why people fear books. After not showing up for work, his boss Beatty
comes to his house and explains why books are now banned.  
to Beatty, special-interest groups and other “minorities” objected to
books that offended them. Soon, books all began to look the same, as
writers tried to avoid offending anybody. This was not enough, however,
and society as a whole decided to simply burn books rather than permit
conflicting opinions.

Montag connects with a retired English professor named Faber. He
tells him that the value of books lies in the detailed awareness of life
that they contain. Faber says that Montag needs not only books but also
the leisure to read them and the freedom to act upon their ideas. After
Montag’s wife turns him in and he is forced to burn his own house to
the ground, he turns his flamethrower on Beatty. He is hunted by a
mechanical hound and the chase is broadcast on national TV. He escapes
to the forest where he finds a group of renegade intellectuals (“the
Book People”), led by a man named Granger, who welcome him. They are a
part of a nationwide network of book lovers who have memorized many
great works of literature and philosophy. They hope that they may be of
some help to mankind in the aftermath of the war that has just been
declared. Montag’s role is to memorize the Book of Ecclesiastes. Enemy
jets appear in the sky and completely obliterate the city with atomic
bombs. Montag and his new friends move on to search for survivors and
rebuild civilization.

Knowledge versus Willful Ignorance

“Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to
more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa
grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so
damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’
with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a
sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of
that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like
philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies
- Captain Beatty in Fahrenheit 451



In Bradbury’s novel the fireman’s duty is to destroy knowledge and
promote ignorance, in order to equalize the population and promote
sameness. Any impartial analysis of the current state of affairs must
conclude that he was absolutely right. In an interview with the LA
Weekly in 2007, Bradbury clarified his views:

“Television gives you the dates of Napoleon, but not who he was,”
Bradbury says, summarizing TV’s content with a single word that he
spits out as an epithet: “factoids.” His fear in 1953 that television
would kill books has, he says, been partially confirmed by television’s
effect on substance in the news. “Useless,” Bradbury says. “They stuff
you with so much useless information, you feel full.”

Bradbury wrote his novel shortly after WWII, at the outset of the
Korean War, during the early stages of the Cold War and in the midst of
McCarthyism. The novel reflects these influences. Orwell’s 1984
used television screens to indoctrinate citizens. Bradbury envisioned
television as an opiate, keeping the public sedated. The wall
televisions in Fahrenheit 451
allow characters to interact with those watching. Bradbury captured the
future of reality TV. Entertainment today is dominated by reality TV.
We are blasted by the likes of Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious, American
Idol, America’s Got Talent, Survivor, Big Brother, Project Runway,
Dancing With the Stars, Amazing Race, Housewives of OC, NJ, NY, DC, and
Atlanta, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant and fifty other mind numbing
reality shows. Morons with names like Snookie and The Situation are
better known by teenagers than George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
In Bradbury’s world, television was used to broadcast meaningless drivel
to divert attention, and thought, away from an impending war. Today,
television is used to broadcast meaningless drivel to divert attention,
and thought, away from ongoing wars, government corruption, impending
financial collapse, and truth.

Bradbury still lives in Los Angeles and observes the alienation aspects of his novel playing out exactly as he envisioned:

 “In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was
describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a
few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed
me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned.
The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its
antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a
dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man
and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries,
sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as
well not have been there. This was not fiction.”

Bradbury directly foretells this incident early in his novel:

“And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped
tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and
talking coming in.” –
Fahrenheit 451

Montag spends the entire novel seeking truth. Professor Faber becomes
his mentor, leading him toward the truth. It is not a coincidence that
Bradbury named the Montag character after a paper company and the Faber
character after a pencil company. Faber was the instrument through which
Montag was taught. Montag was clearly fighting an uphill battle. The
majority had stopped thinking and seeking truth decades ago. The
majority always wants things to remain the same.  

“But remember that the Captain belongs to the most dangerous
enemy of truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority.
Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority.” –
Professor Faber

Government did not need to ban books. As technology advanced and
filled the days with 24 hours of entertainment, infomercials,
propaganda, and trivia, the population willfully stopped reading books.
Why think, ponder, or question when you can be entertained and directed
to believe in whatever the state thinks is best? When entertainment
wasn’t enough, the population would drive their cars at speeds exceeding
100 mph with a goal of running animals and people over. Today, the
mainstream media is controlled by a few mega-corporations that do the
bidding of the state. They are responsible for keeping the population
sedated, entertained, confused, and misinformed. The public willfully
accepts the reality presented by those in power, rather than thinking,
questioning or seeking the truth.

“Remember the firemen are rarely necessary. The public stopped reading of its own accord.
You firemen provide a circus now and then at which buildings are set
off and crowds gather for the pretty blaze, but its a small sideshow
indeed, and hardly necessary to keep things in line. So few want to be
rebels anymore.” –
Professor Faber

In America’s pleasure society we drive as fast as we want, heedless
of danger. We care only for our own gratification, not for the welfare
of others. For enjoyment, we memorize lyrics to Eminem rap songs.
Thinking is not pleasurable so we envelop ourselves with flat screen
HDTVs that provide nonstop distraction. Reading books is no longer
necessary in our world. This is reflected in the fact that 40% of all
adults in America can be classified as functionally illiterate. The U.S.
public school system has been so dumbed down, with equality of all as
the mantra that one wonders whether the state purposefully wants to
process non-thinking, non-questioning autobots into society. A thinking,
questioning public is dangerous to the state.

“We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the
Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every
other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them
cower, to judge themselves against.” –
Captain Beatty

Political Correctness & Censorship

“It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no
declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass
exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today,
thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to
read comics, the good old confessions, or trade journals. Colored people
don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Sam’s Cabin. Burn it.” –
Captain Beatty


Bradbury imagined a democratic society whose diverse population turns
against books. He imagined not just political correctness, but a
society so diverse that all groups were “minorities.” It was essential
that all thought become like vanilla tapioca. First they condensed the
books, stripping out more and more offending passages until ultimately
all that remained were footnotes. Only after people stopped reading on
their own did the state employ firemen to burn books. Once you sacrifice
liberty to the state, the state will not restore it without a fight.
Political correctness has been taken to the extreme by those in power in
America. The text books used to educate our children have had all
“offensive” facts extracted. History has been revised to satisfy the
agendas of those in power. The truth is inconsequential when a minority
group might be offended. History books used in our public schools have
more references about Marilyn Monroe than George Washington. Bradbury
was prescient in his ability to see the future denigration of those who
sought wisdom.

Our public schools have the power to place students into roles such
as runner, football player or swimmer. By being placed in a role, a
person is doing what is expected of him and not being an individual.  We
dread the unfamiliar.  To be an individual is to be unfamiliar.  Thus,
to conform is easier.

“With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers,
tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of
examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word
`intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be. You
always dread the unfamiliar.
People want to be happy, isn’t
that right? Haven’t you heard it all your life? I want to be happy,
people say. Well, aren’t they? Don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give
them fun? That’s all we live for, isn’t it? For pleasure, for
titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these.”
Captain Beatty

The ruling elite and the mainstream media are openly scornful and
antagonistic toward those they label intellectuals. Fox News and MSNBC
prefer talking points, misinformation, and dogmatic ideology from their
anchor entertainers and insipid guests. The numbskulls on these shows
are never in doubt and always wrong. There is no true debate between
reasonable people. These entertainment shows appeal to the baser
emotional instincts of the public, not to their reason or intellect. The
American public no longer has the capability to critically analyze what
they are told by the mainstream corporate media. They gave up reading
books decades ago, leading to a steady decline in critical thinking
skills. No need to think when you can go bungee jumping, mountain
biking, sky diving, yachting, or paint balling.

In the ultimate irony, Bradbury found out in 2003 that over the years
editors from Ballantine had censored 75 separate sections of his novel,
fearful that it would contaminate the minds of our young. The idea of
today’s censorship is not to burn books, but to remove every
controversial word or phrase that could offend anyone. Books are made so
generic and bland that no one would want to read them anyway. Bradbury
is still full of piss and vinegar, sixty years after writing his

“The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book.
And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every
minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/ Italian/ Octogenarian/ Zen
Buddhist, Zionist/ Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib/ Republican,
Mattachine/ Four Square Gospel feels it has the will, the right, the
duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees
himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge
unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any
author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery

Never Ending War

“Someday the load we’re carrying with us may help someone.
But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn’t use
what we got out of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went
right on spitting in the graves of all the poor ones who died before us.
We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the
next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you
can say, We’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run.
And someday we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddamn
steam-shovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove
war in and cover it up. Come on now, we’re going to go build a
mirror-factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year
and take a long look in them.” –


Bradbury had known nothing but war from the time he was 18 until he
wrote Fahrenheit 451 at the age of 30. He describes the sound of bombers
continuously flying over the city. America had started two nuclear wars
since 1990. The degenerative effects of mass media in today’s info-bite
world can be clearly seen in how they are able to manipulate public
opinion to support undeclared wars without question. If Americans were
still able to think and interested in exercising their responsibilities
as citizens of a Republic, they would have required that Congress
exercise its responsibility to declare war rather than allow one man to
declare and wage wars all over the globe. It is easy when the state
controls the message.

“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two
sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him
none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war
.” – Beatty

Montag is stalked by the Mechanical Hound throughout the book. It was
programmed to hunt down Montag and lethally inject him with poison.
Bradbury didn’t know it, but he had described an early version of a
predator drone. Today, a man can sit in front of his computer in the
Pentagon and direct an unmanned predator drone to fire missiles at
“enemies” without faces, halfway around the world. No danger, no
consequences, no responsibility. The American public blindly believes
the state is protecting them by murdering “enemies of the state”. They
will think differently when predator drones circle the skies above their
towns seeking out “domestic terrorists” and non-conformists.

The hunt for Montag was broadcast on national TV. Bradbury’s
imagination produced a vision of fake reality TV, fifty years before it
became an everyday reality.

“Mechanical Hound never fails. Never since its first use in
tracking quarry has this incredible invention made a mistake. Tonight,
this network is proud to have the opportunity to follow the Hound by
camera helicopter as it starts on its way to the target…-
TV announcer

They’re faking. You threw them off at the river. They can’t admit
it. They know they can hold their audience only so long. The show’s got
to have a snap ending, quick! If they started searching the whole damn
river it might take all night. So they’re sniffing for a scape-goat to
end things with a bang. Watch. They’ll catch Montag in the next five
minutes! –

The search is over, Montag is dead; a crime against society has been avenged. – TV announcer

They didn’t show the man’s face in focus. Did you notice? Even
your best friends couldn’t tell if it was you. They scrambled it just
enough to let the imagination take over. –

As I read this passage visions of the OJ Simpson slow speed chase
along the LA freeways appeared in my mind. It was immediately followed
by the fake balloon boy video from a few months ago. Lastly, the
streaming video of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico came into focus.
When the cameras are turned off, the show is over. Cold blooded
murderers are released due to political correctness. A child in danger
was just a show. The effects of 200 million gallons of oil spilled in
the Gulf of Mexico on the environment and the citizens of the Gulf
region aren’t apparent when the cameras are turned off. So therefore,
there are no effects. The world today is one big TV reality show. The
populace wants to be entertained by its news. Sound bites are essential.
Dazzling special effects are required. Beautiful people presenting the
show are necessary. Facts are optional. The truth is a nuisance. There
is only one requirement – THE SHOW MUST GO ON.

There are few builders left, while millions of burners lurk behind
every bush. First it will be Korans and Mosques. Then it will be bibles
and churches. Then it will be libraries. Eventually it will be your
house. America was built by those who cherished liberty, freedom,
responsibility, knowledge, and truth. A fog of complacency and malaise
settled over America in the last six decades. It is almost as if Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451
were used as instruction manuals rather than warnings by our society.
The worst aspects from all three of these dystopian novels have been
adopted or implemented in present day America. The citizenry has become
dependent upon the state for information, direction, support, and
protection. The unquestioning obedience toward the faceless, nameless,
hapless state bureaucracy will lead to tyranny. The state will demand
your compliance. The state will monitor your thoughts and movements. The
state will tell you what to believe. The state will brutally punish
anyone who attempts to think or question. The match is lit. The books
are piled high.

 “There was a silly damn bird called a Phoenix back before
Christ: every few hundred years he built a pyre and burned himself up.
He must have been first cousin to Man. But every time he burnt himself
up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And
it looks like we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we’ve got
one damn thing the Phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we
just did. We know all the damn silly things we’ve done for a thousand
years, and as long as we know that and always have it around where we
can see it, someday we’ll stop making the Goddamn funeral pyres and
jumping into the middle of them. We pick up a few more people that
remember, every generation.” –

At the end of the novel, the city is destroyed by atomic bombs. The
“Book People” begin to move back toward the city in an effort to rebuild
their civilization and help it rise up from the ashes. Our society has
gone so far off course that a peaceful reversal seems highly unlikely. A
revolution that sweeps away the old order and provides an opportunity
for America to start anew will occur during the next fifteen years. Just
as in the novel, there are surely dark days ahead, with much suffering,
pain and death. The majority do not see this revolution coming. Those
in power are blinded by their own ignorance. It is up to the minority of
thinkers, questioners, skeptics, and truth seekers to insure that
America rises up based upon its founding principles of liberty, freedom
and personal responsibility. I urge you to look up from your Blackberry.
Turn off the TV. Take the iPod earbuds out of your ears. Log off your
computer. Read Shakespeare, Twain, Orwell, Bradbury, Huxley, Dickens,
Tolstoy, Hemingway, or Faulkner. Don’t believe anything that the
mainstream media declares as fact without verifying it yourself.
Question everything. Question everyone. Believe no one. The state is not
your protector. Government cannot replace reason. Montag was
responsible for memorizing the Book of Ecclesiastes in order to
pass along that wisdom to future generations. Ask yourself – What are
you leaving for future generations?

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” – Book of Ecclesiastes

“Those who don’t build must burn.” – Professor Faber – Fahrenheit 451

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SofaPapa's picture

The best "science fiction" takes recognizable societal elements and projects them into a new unknown context.  Fahrenheit 451 is one of the gems of this genre.

centerline's picture

Brilliant post.  Thanks!  Would be even better if in video form (just kidding).


suteibu's picture

You're already reading it on a computer...irony. am I.

TheMerryPrankster's picture

Ray was right. Ray is still alive and kicking and recently celebrated a birthday. In a bit of irony there is a music video called "Fuck me, Ray Bradbury" a young lasses lament to the elder author.


Truly all is madness, the difficult part is figuring out when we first departed from reality, certainly MTV did more to destroy the music business then help it. Investing TV shows and channels have helped destroy investing and TV in general has planted a fantasy world in so many minds, that the viewers were more than willing to assume loans and debts with usury rates in order that they might replicate the fantasy world within their own lives.


I must in the interest of  honesty divulge, that I no longer own a TV and most of my radio listening is actually streaming internet channels. I stopped watching TV in 2008 when the theater of  Hank Paulson begging Nancy Pelosi on bended knees, nearly destroyed my visual cortex.


The riots start about 3 weeks after the TV's go  black, or when the electric grid fails permanently. Til then its bread and circuses forever.

1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

To Merry Prankster: It was about the time ATARI came out I guess I was 5ish. I rember helping my grandparents plant harvest & can the vegetables, all the while listening to stories of them picking cotton,eating beans and squirel. Then came ATARI, now I find myself struggling to learn & perfect the things, They was trying to teach me.

Dr. Acula's picture

People were dumb thousands of years ago, they're dumb now, and probably will be dumb for at least a few centuries. I don't think the existence or non-existence of books, movies, video games, or iPads has much impact on this.

When cybernetic implants and genetic and neurochemical augmentations catch on, then people will become extremely smart, but they will continue to have bad taste.


cougar_w's picture

This discussion has nothing to do with native intelligence.

It has everything to do with propaganda.

Even smart people succumb to propaganda eventually. Repeat a lie long enough, and they break down and believe.

F451 is all about what happens when smart people stop thinking and become distracted by gee-gaws and games. Once captured by the beautiful distraction box it is virtually impossible to regain control of your own mind and those who think they have, have not. You are in the box, distraction is your world, there is no other world outside distractions. You cannot fight the box from the inside, you fight only yourself once you are inside the box.

I meet people every day that are thus trapped. Their world is a fog. I don't know what to say to them.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And once trapped inside that box, their beliefs and perception are formed by the box. For those outside the box, it's impossible to understand how this can be so, just as those who have never been addicted, and may not be susceptible to addiction, will ever understand how someone can be addicted. One must study addiction, propaganda and subliminal messaging to begin to grasp what's going on here.

The most important thing you said was the following.

Once captured by the beautiful distraction box it is virtually impossible to regain control of your own mind and those who think they have, have not.

Once totally immersed, one must be deprogrammed so to speak.


cougar_w's picture

I'm trying to imagine what a deprogramming effort would look like. Seriously, I think total withdrawal from all forms of passive external stimuli would be the only thing that could do it. Replace all passive stimuli with human-centric conversations and reading (which is just your internal voice working) and you might turn the corner.

I would also remove access to non-human-powered conveyance, to get them in touch with their own body and inner thoughts again. Bicycle or walk or else stay home and houseclean or cook or read a book or write a letter..

Then give it 18 months to work.

You know, post peak-oil there will be a lot of people forced in mental detox. One more thing to look forward to once the wheels really come off in earnest.

NotApplicable's picture

Human-centric conversations!?!?!

Do you have any idea how dumb these people are?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Dumbed down maybe but not dumb. Ignorant or uneducated maybe but not stupid, as in mentally incapable. Just like a muscle that atrophies when not used, the brain goes slack when not stimulated by certain types of "human-centric conversations".

As I said before, one must study propaganda, (co)dependency, addiction and subliminal messaging, not to mention psychology, in order to understand what's going on here.'s picture

of course my mantra is "it's  a l l  about the bike". but i swear this bike craze and born again bicyclists is really making me sick. you should see these sorry fucks that can barely think and chew gum at the same time. they go on their group R I D E S,  all wearing the same sorry ass ugly looking lycra, sheeple in bike wear propaganda advertising shirts and shorts. it really makes me sick the group think is to look as horrifying as a human being can in Lycra that clings unforgiving to the human body. what are they thinking. these white asses should not be wearing lycra. i wish their was a law that states, you might be offending the trees or something. why do they want to bring attention to these bodies like a christmas tree all lite up? bike wear is out of control. they are circus animals at best. don't get me started with helmet craze, either.


do you know i went into an audi dealership for a schedule maintenance in MA. damn if i didn't get the car back to the house i noticed these hose jobbers people put their plate frame advertising on both of my license plates. the audacity to put their license plate frame branding on my car without my permission. if it weren't for my father and his adamant protest of this blatant abuse of my rights. first thing he did when bringing a new to him, car home was pull out the screw driver and get that advertising plate frame off those plates. if they pay me to advertise and i had a choice whether to endorse this company ok i will leave them on. other wise fuck yourself.

nonclaim's picture

About these bicyclists, they were nicknamed "mamil" in a BBC article a while ago: middle aged man in lycra. Quite fitting.

molecool's picture

"Even smart people succumb to propaganda eventually. Repeat a lie long enough, and they break down and believe."

Exactly - the Germans have the highest IQ on average in Europe - along with the Dutch.

Glaucus's picture

Take heart, boys and girls, it's all the (corporate) state's doing, and it's days are increasingly numbered.  Technology is already seeing to that (e.g., this very medium), and off we will soon be going:

"An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the commonsense ‘intuitive linear’ view.  So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate). … Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to … technological change so rapid and profound that it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.  The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light."

Ray Kurzweil, "The Law of Accelerating Returns" 

cougar_w's picture

Beware complexity. Against which the only weapon is ... more complexity.

Glaucus's picture

Beware complication (think: tax code); embrace complexity (think: universe).

stickyfingers's picture

Each day in the U.S., people spend on average 4.7 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.

Then they go to bed... with the TV on.

cougar_w's picture

I read "F451" at about 25 while in college, and was deeply moved by it. My 15 yo daughter has it on her reading list along with "1984" (we home school, so I can pull that one off).

Our family never owned a TV or had cable or satellite or any kind of MSM injections. Ever. My kids are almost entirely free of taint. Instead they read avidly. All because I once read "F451".

I don't know how other families manage. I really don't. The landscape of double-think and corporatism and mental Fascism is debilitating. The deck is so badly stacked it's a wonder anyone gets through childhood having retained the ability to think independently on critical matters.'s picture

Add Atlas Shrugged to that reading list. It's one dystopian novel which can't be used as a guide for oppressors as the article notes is the case with F451, 1984 and BNW.

NotApplicable's picture

Just don't confuse its contents with the cult of Objectivism.'s picture

If you're referring to the mutation of Objectivism into Peikoffism, I heartily agree. And I realize that Ayn Rand was a bit eccentric and so on and so forth. But that's the allowance one makes for genius.

Rand's declaration of the virtue of selfishness and her uncovering of the long running con game of self sacrifice stand as major revelations of the modern era. She best expresses these concepts in her fiction and thus my praise for Atlas Shrugged.

I also find her to be a fascinating speaker. When the woman talks I can't look away. She demands my attention. Here are what I consider to be the best Ayn Rand interviews available at youtube. Each has three parts and is well worth watching.


Ayn Rand Mike Wallace Interview 1959 part 1


Ayn Rand Interview with Tom Snyder, (1 of 3)

Monkey Craig's picture

You are doing the right thing by home schooling your kids. My kids are in a public elementary school and are only learning about what clothes to wear, who the cool kids are, and how to play kickball. They just fall in line and never question authority (except their parents). All the kids talk about is how great Obama is and how their teachers just love what a great president he is.

1984, Animal Farm, and Brave New World were my favorite when I was in junior high (mid 80s)

WaterWings's picture

Brilliant. Same with 1984.


Apocalicious's picture

My ten year old came home and said he had to do reading time, so he flipped on the TV, hit mute, and began reading the subtitles. I asked, in somewhat nicer fashion, what the hell he thought he was doing. He responded "Teacher says reading the subtitles on TV counts as reading time."

I just about had a conniption. We have a library of maybe 500 books not twenty feet away from the damn TV (child friendly, mind you, not the 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 section either) from which I immediately mandated reading time material was forevermore to be selected.

"Nuh-uh! Teacher says!"

At which point came the expletives regarding his teacher, noting the disparity in graduate degrees (and income) between said teacher and myself, etc. Not the best example for the lad, I'll admit, but screw you teacher's unions. You suck.

At least he'll be reading Adam of the Road and A Wrinkle in Time, instead of Spongebob Lobotomy-pants, and hopefully will graduate to the Ray Bradbury's of the world.

Of course, it would be easier if parents and teachers were pulling in the same direction. Dad is unpopular enough without having to actively contradict a "cool" teacher. More tax dollars well spent for unaccountable, lazy, entrenched government employees...

Dr. Sandi's picture

"Nuh-uh! Teacher says!"

Probably the teacher is a piece of crap. Or MAYBE junior was LYING to avoid work. Hmmmm.

zaknick's picture

Don't forget the DEA fat, lazy and abusive on-the-dole scum.

Clark Griswold's picture

Kudos.  Absolutely brilliant post.

Sudden Debt's picture

Where can I download that book for my Ipad?


PS: If there is a movie about the book, I'd rather see that one.

molecool's picture

A friend of mine is good friends with him. I just sent him this page to make sure Ray sees it.

Tenma13's picture

nice 'laughing man' logo. Got to love Ghost in the Shell. :) Obviously watch it on your HDTV :p


cougar_w's picture

GITS ranks right up there with F451, for shear creepiness. In many ways it's just F451 updated for the age of the Internet.

You cannot see them because they are already inside your eyes.

WaterWings's picture

You don't need to be Yakuza to go the headquarters of the Yakuza. But we'll need weapons.

The score for both feature films is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

cougar_w's picture

I listen to the score and get the chills. The entire franchise is mind-blowing. It's things like that that stimulate me to write my own fiction; you have to post-process the insanity some how.

molecool's picture

You're the first one here to recognize it. And yes, GTC ties in nicely with Ray's work.

On a different subject: I'm also very fond of William Gibson - ever read Neuromancer?

cougar_w's picture

Ha. I recognized it probably the day you showed up. Seem to recall commenting on it. I'd wished then that I'd thought of it first. So perfect for ZH, on so many levels.

Who is Tyler Durden, anyway? And where did it come from? And why is it in my head all the time??

Wait. Maybe that input was not internally generated.

Life itself from within the wires. The Net is vast ...'s picture

who is tyler? all i want to do is dance with him, slow dance of course.

Arkadaba's picture

Neal Stephenson is quite good as well - though sometimes daunting - last thing I read was Anathem which was almost 1000 pages.

And of course there is there is Pynchon - definitely a precursor to Gibson and Stephenson - V is on my list of all time favourites.