Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Written as a novella entitled ‘The Fireman’, Fahrenheit 451 is the fruit of Ray Bradbury’s hard work and patience with a rented library typewriter back in early ‘50s. For generations, readers have tried to interpret its message. Apparently, this book is not about book censorship, communism, or repression. Instead, this is about indulgence in technology. In television- to be more specific. According to Bradbury, television will make our brains mushy. If you have the 50th Anniversary Edition like I do, you will read as much from the Author’s afterword, coda and interview.
Bearing the author’s reason in thought while reading this, made me like the book. I just wish I read this sooner, back when giant wall LED televisions were not invented yet; super computers don’t exist; or cable internet was not yet conceived. For me, at this date, it was like reading a dystopian novel that is 60 decades late. Bradbury plainly refused to consider that technological progress is inevitable from the day that television was launch; and forgot to recognize that reading books will survive the generations, no matter what. Considering, the book somehow falls short of the punch it should deliver. Yet, the reader will not miss Bradbury’s satirical views on authority, and the way humans always deceive themselves -how happiness was flippantly defined.
I can’t say if Bradbury was wrong with his conception decades ago, when he wrote this. Or maybe he was right; if he had not written this and people have not read it, we may have had a bad turnout. What I can say is that I grew up with both TV and books, so is my daughter, but our brains didn’t turn mushy. (I think!) The key, probably, resides in rearing children responsibly–exposing them equally to TV and books, teaching them which should be adopted from them, and which ones should be discarded.
I’ve read the book twice on print and listened to the audio version -first, because of curiosity; and second, for the TFG F2F13 discussion.
January 19, we met at Figaro Coffee in Emerald Avenue at 2pm. And yes, of course, I am late (hehehe). For which, I compensated by actively participating in the discussion (while eating). We had a lively discussion. I love discussing with this people. It was a pleasure learning from them. Kudos to Rollie for coming up with mind-provoking questions. A great way to start the year.
Right after, they indulgently posed for me. Posted the pictures on facebook.
2012’s Last Hurrah!
Have you ever given into clinginess? Sometimes it’s a good thing to do so.
December 29, some TFG friends decided to meet up at the Ayala Triangle in Makati for the lights and sound display. We officially called these meet-ups as HOHOL (hang-out, hang-out lang). Then again, we made that up to fill the gap between F2Fs. If I have not said it before, then let me say it now and you may quote me -we’re a clingy lot. (♥♥,)
1. Our willingness to brave the awful Christmas season traffic;
2. We adopt even when tired and sleep-deprived;
3. We are willing to wait for others to arrive even if they are hours late;
4. We tweet, text, and send private messages to each other from across the table;
5. Our clinginess compels us to stay together until the wee hours of the morning hopping from one store to another.
Please don’t take us the wrong way. The Filipino Group is a serious book club, we seriously discuss books, and we seriously wanted to cling to each other for a long long time. (✿◠‿◠)
A Blessed New Year everyone!
TFG 2012 Christmas Party
You may consider this as late submission. It is, really. Twenty (20) days, thirteen (13) hours, and seven (7) minutes late. But, you see I have to wait until I descend from euphoria and shake off some of the clinginess before I can properly write this.
December 15, 2012 is TFG’s last F2F for the said year, and the book chosen was Charlieand the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. It was also our book club’s Christmas Party. The event was really thematic; we have loot bags, party hats, and masks waiting on our tables, plus chocolates and candies everywhere. No one can deny that the electricity of excitement was shooting in every direction, and we felt nothing but love for each other.
The discussion was not hurried, but yes, it was short to give way to the much awaited party to commence. Instead of the traditional stockings, we hanged ecobags to hold all the goodies we’re about to receive. And, I have to say, I am really happy, grateful, and blessed for the gifts I received.
The party was a huge success. Applaud and gratitude must go to the people who sweated and stressed themselves to make the party beyond possible. Our heartfelt appreciation to all, who took time and attended the party. Thank you to all the newbies, who braved their first F2F, I hope to see more of them on the next ones. Everybody’s presence was the essence of fun. It is needless to say that I love these people dearly. They have added spice into my life, and my 2012 would not have been complete without their variant flavors into it.
I wish each and everyone the love, peace, and success 2013 can profoundly offer. And, to our dear and humble book club, I pray for God’s peace and speed ahead. May the love and hope we share among us keep us banded together through all the trials ahead and always.
A story of 6 murders…
IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote
One Indian summer night, in the plains of western Kansas, a family was murdered inside their own home –a man, his wife, their son, and a daughter. Armed with a knife and a 12-guage shotgun, the murderers robbed, and killed each member separately with a close-range shot to the head. Forty-six days later, the murderers -Perry Edward Smith and Richard Eugene Hickcock -were apprehended in Las Vegas. And at the wee hours of April 14, 1965, they were hanged for their crime at the Kansas State Penitentiary; despite their lawyers three (3) attempts for appeal. It was a crime that gave the whole of Kansas a nightmare.
A year after, January 1966 to be exact, In Cold Blood was released; after its success in The New Yorker installments. Hence, the birth of the Non-fiction Novel. Capote’s book was a product of organized journalism fussed with novelist flair. There was no doubt, his ability made a new kind of statement. He made facts into drama, not just mere reality.
The book was an immediate international best seller, yes; but it was sensationalized by intrigues too, and none more so by William Burroughs’ personal admonition of Capote. Yet, no one can deny the emotions the book had invoked –compassion, anger, shock, disgust, and helplessness. It was a statement of the grieving soul -for the murdered family, and the criminally insane. It also made us reflect on pain and revenge;on true justice; and examine closely how a flimsy imaginary line separates death penalty from murder.
During Henry Plantagenet’s reign, starting 1154, he institutionalized Common Law. It was devised to deal with situations where a person’s behaviour has unfairly caused someone else to suffer loss or harm. Such included the reasonable ancient dictum of “furiosus furore solum punitur” (the madness of the insane is punishment enough); in criminal cases therefore idiots and lunatics are not chargeable for their own acts, if committed when under these incapacities: no, not even for treason itself. As William Blackstone explained further in his Commentaries on the Law of England (Book 4 Chapter 2), executing a criminally insane is “a miserable spectacle, both against law, and of extreme inhumanity and cruelty, and can be no example to others.”
The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty, headed by Chairwoman Donna Schneweis, is the leading critic of the Kansas death penalty and strongly fighting the state to repeal the law. However, none was executed since its reenactment in 1994. Currently, they have 11 inmates on death row.
ISBN: 0679745580 (ISBN13: 9780679745587)
Pages: 343 pages