Space Oddity

Farenheit 451

Ground control to Ray Bradbury.

Is it just me or does anyone else think the world is weirder than usual right now? Here’s something else that supports my theory: the author of one of my youthful favorites, Fahrenheit 451 is sounding downright cranky and teabaggerish over the US and A’s failure to<drum roll> colonize the moon.I shit you not:

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From theLos Angeles Times:

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 inLos 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 wedo that, we will live

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

Sorry for linking to theNRO but being a blogger is a dirty job and the LA Times can be hinky about linky sometimes if you catch my drift. (Where’sOtis Chandler when you need him? Oh yeah, he’s dead. Never mind.) Just thinking about the pompous creeps who currently run the National Review makes me feel unclean: I need to be deloused. Has anyone out there ever been deloused? I was once called delouse in my younger days but never DeLuise. Bradbury is sounding like derand, Ayn Rand.

Time for some misdirection. While I likeSpace Oddity as a post title, the Bowie song has not aged well. I liked it the first 10,000 times I heard it but enough’s enough. Instead, here’s a clip of the Tubes in their prime. I’ve had the KSAN radio show for years but didn’t know any of it had been filmed. The video quality’s even pretty good.

Space Baby you’ve got no planet:

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Colonize the moon? Perhaps we should send Ray Bradbury, John Voight and all the people at NRO to the moon. Where the hell is Ralph Kramden when you need him? To the moon, Alice, to the moon…

Cross-posted at Adrastos.

16 thoughts on “Space Oddity

  1. I love Bradbury. I would love to see interplanetary exploration and colonization.
    But Bradbury does realize, doesn’t he, that his novels are science FICTION?? Doing these would be an enormous amount of risk and expenditure of resources. You have to balance your priorities.

  2. What Bradbury overlooks is that with the technology of today, maintaining even a tiny colony on the surface of the moon is almost certain to be impossible. We struggle to maintain a colony on Antarctica, a cake walk by comparison. We don’t even dare to try to maintain a colony on the ocean floor, a mere 2 miles down, still a cake walk by comparison. Just look at how precarious the space station is, as a colony. They nearly lost it last week, when one of the cooling systems quit. And, it is just a matter of time before they will lose it to some freak accident, from a massive solar flare to a space debris strike, to just plain mechanical failure.
    A can do attitude is great, let’s apply that attitude to our economic problems, and leave moon colonies to the science fiction authors, of whom Ray Bradbury has been unequaled.

  3. A can do attitude is great, let’s apply that attitude to our economic problems, and leave New World colonies to the science fiction authors, of whom Christopher Columbus has been unequaled. — commenter in the court of Frederick & Isabella.

  4. Christopher Columbus wasn’t a science fiction author. He was a sailor. If Ray Bradbury were a space flight engineer or physicist or astronaut, your comparison would make sense.

  5. The technology of today can’t support “space colonies”. Surely that statement can’t be disputed. At some time in the future there may be technological advances that will enable us to have “space colonies”. That is why NASA has changed their focus from colonizing the moon and Mars, to advancing the technology so it will some day be possible to colonize the moon and Mars.
    With today’s technology it takes such enormous amounts of fuel, and the structure needed to contain the fuel, to go anywhere with any significant payload, that supporting “space colonies” can’t work. But, if an efficient propulsion method can be developed that makes use of the energy radiated by the sun, without using tons of fuel, colonies on nearby planets and moons becomes possible. If technology advances make it possible to shield people when they are out in space away from the magnetic field of the Earth, so cosmic rays don’t fry them, then it will be possible to support colonies on nearby planets and moons. And, those are just two of many technology advancements needed.
    But, I sure wish Ray Bradbury could write some more books.

  6. Those are definitely tech advancements pretty much required for colonization. Fusion energy is another. And those are exactly the sorts of advancements space colonization would by necessity spur. I realize a moon project or a Mars project would require extensive federal or international investment in science, engineering, telecommunications and industry. By my account, that’s a very good thing.

  7. Ah, well, Bradbury writes fiction, which means he’s free to overlook inconvenient details, such as that there’s no life on either the Moon or Mars, because they’re inhospitable climates for life, and human beings don’t survive on either place without a lot of the technology that’s also sort of messing up this planet, and without regular infusions of supplies from, uh, uh, well, here.
    I suspect, though, that he thinks we’ve really fucked things up on this planet, and colonization is the only answer to the survival of the human race. How those colonies survive without Earth as their base camp, I doubt he’s considering, nor is he much considering that transplanting the same human nature somewhere else is probably going to create the same problems as down here in Bugfuckville.
    If we really need to keep on satisfying that urge to explore in the midst of a cratering domestic economy and a world that’s well on its way to neverending resource wars and life as crispy critters, well, remote sensing is improving daily and smaller rockets carrying small payloads are still pretty cheap, and fairly effective, provided that we can remind everyone involved to use the same damned units during programming.
    However, sorry, Ray–demanding that we spend absurd amounts of money and resources to save a privileged few humans from the destruction the specie is causing here at home on Terra Firma strikes me as the height of ethnocentric egotism.

  8. There is too much government and he wants that government to pay to colonize the moon and beyond. Sounds like a disconnect to me. Where is the government supposed to get the money to pay for all this space exploration without raising taxes and otherwise being more intrusive?
    It seems like a common disconnect, especially among science fiction writers of a certain era. Consider that Heinlein wrote a classic Marxist parable, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and somehow thought it was a libertarian tract.

  9. Heinlein Syndrome.
    He, too was convinced that the private sector would be lining up to colonize other worlds.
    Na. Ga. Ha. Pen.
    (And I love both authors AND spaceflight)

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