Wednesday, June 06, 2012
How to break an Aardvark's heart.
Let us now praise famous men...
Or A man. Ray Bradbury has left us, and our world will be the poorer for it. I will not do a bio (that's why they make wikipedia). Bless him or curse him for it, he is the reason I write. His unashamed love affair with the English language infected me, and made me want to be a lover as well. He was the master of the short story, of pith in the baroque style. Heinlein wrote ranch houses; Bradbury was a tall Victorian manse, gingerbread all about, but each ornamentation needful to the whole. Joe Mugnaini would have drawn a Bradbury, as he illustrated his work. S is for Space, R is for Rocket, Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, the vast library of Ray Bradbury's creativity encompasses the spectrum from hope to horror, and not the splattery thing called horror today; no, rather the "Is that a black widow crawling up my spine?", theatre-of-the-mind suspense that, as Willy Wonka would say "I hope it will last". No wonder Freberg and Bradbury were such fast friends. Neither was he loath to present a world with Faith in it.
Mr. Bradbury turned space travel into a symphony, The Day of the Dead into a fandango, and made you wish to dance them all wearing a wonderful ice cream suit. He shared his horror of stripping our culture of Wonder, of isolating ourselves from one another, wall-sized TV's and transistor radios plugged in to our eyes and ears. He seemed terrified of the move to remove anything unsettling to the kiddies from the library. In it all, Ray Bradbury must have died a disappointed prophet, though his disappointment would have been at his own accurate prescience. We each live now in Bradbury's future.
Thank you Mr. Bradbury. You entertained and warned us. I hope we take your warning.
And thank you for Cecy.