Thursday, November 29, 2007

Compare and Contrast

Fahrenheit 451 / Science Fiction by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 takes place in an unspecified future time in a hedonistic and rabidly anti-intellectual America that has completely abandoned self-control and bans the reading of books. People are now only entertained by in-ear radio and an interactive form of television. The protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman, certain that his job -— burning books, and the houses that hold them, and persecuting those who own them -— is the right thing to do.

In Fahrenheit 451, the job of firefighter had morphed from putting out fires to a kind of "thought police" who were charged with ferreting out people who owned contraband books or other proscribed materials or who might harbor "thoughts" that were deemed hostile to or critical of the state -- which maintained constant surveillance of its citizens.

with ... current headlines

Firefighters Being Trained To Notice Terror Planning

City firefighters are being trained to fight terrorism, but that's not sitting well with many civil libertarians.

The Department of Homeland Security began testing a program with the FDNY last December where firefighters are trained to identify material or behavior that may point toward terrorist activity.

Unlike police, firefighters don't need warrants to get into homes and buildings, putting them in a unique position to be aware of possible terror planning. But some critics say the program is a step toward limiting people's privacy rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the program is similar to a White House proposal from 2002 to have workers with access to private homes, like postal workers, report suspicious behavior to the FBI.

My comment: The future is here. 9/11 changed everything. We are sacrificing everything that has made us a great nation in order to preserve our greatness? "They" hate us for our freedoms? So, the obvious thing is to eliminate those freedoms so then maybe "they" won't hate us? What a strange strategy.

If you haven't read Fahrenheit 451, you really should ... but if you do, destroy your copy after reading it ... before the fire department comes and finds it in your house.


Michael said...

Excellent post. The problem, as in the book, is that so few people care about what's going on.
They will soon. But then it'll all be too late.

Joe Kozlowski said...

Always the way ...

Quoting Joanie Mitchell ... "You don't know what you got 'til it's gone."