Ray Bradbury, RIP

fahrenheit 451 605x1000 Ray Bradbury, RIP RIP ray bradbury

An excerpt from Bradbury’s finest novel, Fahrenheit 451. The author died yesterday, June 5.

“When did it all start, you ask, this job of ours, how did it come about, where, when? Well, I’d say it really got started around about a thing called the Civil War. Even though our rule-book claims it was founded earlier. The fact is we didn’t get along well until photography came into its own. Then — motion pictures in the early twentieth century. Radio. Television. Things began to have mass.”
Montag sat in bed, not moving.
“And because they had mass, they became simpler,” said Beatty. “Once, books appealed to a few people, here, there, everywhere. They could afford to be different. The world was roomy. But then the world got full of eyes and elbows and mouths. Double, triple, quadruple population. Films and radios, magazines, books levelled down to a sort of paste pudding norm, do you follow me?”
“I think so.”
Beatty peered at the smoke pattern he had put out on the air. “Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.”
“Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries were for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumour of a title to you, Mrs. Montag) whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: ‘now at least you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbours.’ Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.”
“Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click? Pic? Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters, that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!”
“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 all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?”
“The zipper displaces the button and a man lacks just that much time to think while dressing at dawn, a philosophical hour, and thus a melancholy hour.”
“Life becomes one big pratfall, Montag; everything bang, boff, and wow!”
“Empty the theatres save for clowns and furnish the rooms with glass walls and pretty colours running up and down the walls like confetti or blood or sherry or sauterne. You like baseball, don’t you, Montag?”
“Baseball’s a fine game.”
Beatty went on, “You like bowling, don’t you, Montag?”
“Bowling, yes.”
“And golf?”
“Golf is a fine game.”
“A fine game.”
“Billiards, pool? Football?”
“Fine games, all of them.”
“More sports for everyone, group spirit, fun, and you don’t have to think, eh? Organize and organize and superorganize super-super sports. More cartoons in books. More pictures. The mind drinks less and less. Impatience. Highways full of crowds going somewhere, somewhere, somewhere, nowhere. The gasoline refugee. Towns turn into motels, people in nomadic surges from place to place, following the moon tides, living tonight in the room where you slept this noon and I the night before.”
“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive. And the three-dimensional sex-magazines, of course. There you have it, Montag. 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.”
“Yes, but what about the firemen, then?” asked Montag.
“Ah.” Beatty leaned forward in the faint mist of smoke from his pipe. “What more easily explained and natural? 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. Surely you remember the boy in your own school class who was exceptionally ‘bright,’ did most of the reciting and answering while the others sat like so many leaden idols, hating him. And wasn’t it this bright boy you selected for beatings and tortures after hours? Of course it was. 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. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won’t stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed completely, all over the world (you were correct in your assumption the other night) there was no longer need of firemen for the old purposes. They were given the new job, as custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and rightful dread of being inferior; official censors, judges, and executors. That’s you, Montag, and that’s me.”
Beatty knocked his pipe into the palm of his pink hand, studied the ashes as if they were a symbol to be diagnosed and searched for meaning.
“You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? 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.”
“Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, into the incinerator. Funerals are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them, too. Five minutes after a person is dead he’s on his way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country. Ten minutes after death a man’s a speck of black dust. Let’s not quibble over individuals with memoriams. Forget them. Burn them all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean.”
“There was a girl next door,” he said, slowly. “She’s gone now, I think, dead. I can’t even remember her face. But she was different. How — how did she happen?”
Beatty smiled. “Here or there, that’s bound to occur. Clarisse McClellan? We’ve a record on her family. We’ve watched them carefully. Heredity and environment are funny things. You can’t rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That’s why we’ve lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we’re almost snatching them from the cradle. We had some false alarms on the McClellans, when they lived in Chicago. Never found a book. Uncle had a mixed record; anti-social. The girl? She was a time bomb. The family had been feeding her subconscious, I’m sure, from what I saw of her school record. She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl’s better off dead.”
“Luckily, queer ones like her don’t happen, often. We know how to nip most of them in the bud, early. You can’t build a house without nails and wood. If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. 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. If the Government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. 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 melancholy. Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won’t be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely. I know, I’ve tried it; to hell with it. So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your dare-devils, jet cars, motor-cycle helicopters, your sex and heroin, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. If the drama is bad, if the film says nothing, if the play is hollow, sting me with the theremin, loudly. I’ll think I’m responding to the play, when it’s only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I don’t care. I just like solid entertainment.”

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“Modern Family” wins Emmy for Best Comedy

We don’t normally agree with award shows, but we can agree in 2011, that “Modern Family” winning an award for best comedy at the Emmy’s makes sense. Even though Curb Your Enthusiasm should win every award every year Larry David graces us with his comedy.

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tumblr lpckaxHCVp1qi3twh 605x403 Optimist San Francisco optimist oakland interview Graffiti

Optimist has been putting in solid, clean, consistent work in multiple cities on multiple continents, for the last ten years plus. He has crisp letters, nice color combinations, and a hand style that is one of the best in the business.  Like a lot of writers he is constantly creating and has been making fine art lately as well.  This work deals with materialism and complex societal issues, as well as collaborations with some really dope bay area writers. Keep an eye this guys work. He is doing some really good things, both inside and out. —Ronnie Wrest/The Citrus Report

Give us some basics.  Where are you from?  What do you write? What is your drink of choice?

I was born in SF. Moved to Oakland when I was like 8 or some shit, then moved back to Frisco when I was 19, then moved to Taiwan when I was 24 then moved back to the states when I was 27 now im in the town again. I write optimist de pop. Drink of choice would have to be a Sierra Nevada pale ale with a lemon in it. Or some Bing Bing juice. It’s my own made up drink. Its iced soju or sake green tea and lemon. Hella good on a hot day. Sounds like a girl’s drink but its bomb.

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Are you normally pretty positive or did you just want to take on a crazy long name?

Ha. No I think Im a pessimist at heart but I try to stay positive so I think that writing optimist everywhere kinda subconsciously helps me stay more positive in life cus right now there are a lot of things going on in the world that are pretty depressing. And I like writing long names its more fun and you can do more with it.

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How long have you been painting?

Been doing the graff thing for around 12 or 13 years now, don’t see myself stopping any time soon unless the world gets really fucked up but in that case I can see myself doing more graffiti cus I feel like when everything is falling apart people are not going to trip off graffiti, they are going to have more important things to worry about like food and water and shelter. So I think that will open up a lot of opportunities for writers in the coming age of the 6th mass extinction.  I have only been painting with a brush and trying to crack this fine art game for around 7 years. But have been drawing and shit since I was a little kid.

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A lot of your work seems really personal.  Is there anything specific you want your work to communicate?

As far as fine art my work right now is not very personal, its all about materialism and capitalism destroying our planet and the side effects from that. I think I went through a phase in life where all my fine art was personal because I was subconsciously trying to work through some shit. Like issues I had with my family and myself. But I feel like Im passed that and enjoy moving on to more important subject matters then myself. My graff is personal. I think everybody’s graff is personal. Shit. Im writing my name on the wall. Thats pretty personal. Graffiti helps me keep an open flow of creativity in my life cus its so raw and expressive. Like when im stuck at the studio working on some shit and I get bored or feel like im not getting anywhere I always go out and do graffiti by myself or with a hommie. Cus there is not much thought involved besides not getting caught and making it look good. Its like whatever happens happens and when its done its done and then its gonna get buffed and its over.

There is no pressure with graff.unlike fine art.  Sometimes I feel like graffiti doesn’t matter because it’s so expendable and impermanent and I like that. And fine art matters more??? Cus its for sale??? No.  But it matters more cus its going to last longer and it takes way more time and thought.

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Your delivery truck paintings really bring a cool play on illegal work to your canvas.  Do you think there is a place for graffiti inside of the gallery?

Yes and no. I think there is a place for “graffiti style art” in galleries, but not raw graffiti. If people actually start paying thousands of dollars for graffiti in galleries I will be shocked and somewhat pissed off. I like the fact that graffiti is not for sale, and it’s always attached to somebody else property. So if you wanted to buy it you would have to buy the whole building. Graffiti inside a gallery is not really graffiti to me. Cus it’s not illegal and it’s for sale. Graffiti has got its foot in the door in the fine art world these days more then ever before. There is so much graffiti influenced art out there selling for dumb paper. And alot of these people making this art never really got into the graff game. They went to art school and met some writers and started writing for a few years. Then finished school and became some fine artist doing characters and hella back outlined shit on canvass and using spray paint and what not but never really played a part in the graff game. Never contributed to the culture. And now they are getting paid off the culture.

But there are also a bunch of people who actually paid their dues to graffiti and put in major work over the past 10 -20 years and just now are they becoming known to the rest of the world. Or should I say the art world.

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The Internet has really played a huge role in how graffiti has evolved in the last 10 plus years.  Has this been a good or a bad thing in your opinion?

Oh shit. The Internet. Wow. It really has changed the game. It linked the whole world on some graffiti shit. Now you can know who is doing what in any major city in the world and probably find these people as well.  The internet has fueled the flame under graffiti and now its on fire burning world wide. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Its good cus one could probably go online and surf around on some graff or picture sites and find out whos who in what city and contact them and then fly out there and meet up with them and then become friends with them (only cus we both write) then paint with them. Then come home. I say this cus I have done this before. It was a trip. Like you could have fans thousands of miles away these days when 10 years ago they only people who knew about you and your little graffiti world were the kids in your city or your state and maybe some cats in some other states if your doing it real big. Now everybody knows everybody. Its bad cus everybody knows everybody.  There is too much information on the internet about graffiti, I really don’t know the extent to which the government can track or crack any activities on the world wide web but its all pretty scary when you think about how much info is out there.  If the internet did one thing to graffiti, It blew it up.

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What have you been working on lately?

Lately I have been working on a solo show in Oakland ca. Im thinking of titling it man animal and machine. Im working on 8- 10 compositions on brown butcher paper about man animals and machines all fighting for existence on planet earth. And some smaller less complicated drawings on the same subject.

Do you have any shows coming up?

Yeah the one at Old Crow October 8th and a truck show coming to 1 am gallery in SF in January of 2012 (if the world don’t end) and another show at 1 am in October 2012.  And im sure there will be some in between.

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Two artists/writers to look out for this year…

Amuse DE from Chicago, Pemex, Marcus Murray, Payday, Hyde, Leon Loucheur,  Ian Hill, David Jien, Lil Zen Ten, Saym from Taipei, and your boy.

Follow Optimists work at http://timtheoptimist.tumblr.com/

Optimist’s Man Animal and The Machines. Solo show at OLD CROW GALLERY OCT 8th. Oakland CA. 94610.

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2Pac’s mom says she and rap group did not smoke rap legends ashes

TupacShakurPA210311 2Pacs mom says she and rap group did not smoke rap legends ashes tupac shakur smoke outlawz ashes 2pac

Well that is a big relief. According to NME, “Afeni Shakur has denied that she smoked the ashes of her son with the Outlawz.” Young Noble from Outlawz had said yesterday that “Yes, it’s definitely true… Had a little memorial for him with his mum and his family. We had hit the beach, threw [in] a lot of shit he liked at the beach. Some weed, some chicken wings, he loved orange soda… Pac loved that kind of shit, so we were giving him our own farewell.”

We feel really weird now. Listen to this to feel better:

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Nine on 9: Critter Fleming

Critter Citrus No Juding Nine on 9: Critter Fleming No judging nine on 9 critter fleming critter

Nine Questions with the leader of the No Judging Campaign… Critter Fleming...

1) Where does Critter come from? The woods of Piedmont, CA

2) What does No Judging mean? Have fun and just relax and don’t worry about what we are doing

3) How many times a day were people judging you in order to come up with No Judging? Tons people JUDGE always

4) Have you been to Pablo Escobar’s house? Yes I used to be in the tile inport/export biz

5) Where is your favorite place on earth; Colombia, Panama, or Brazil? Thats a tough one “butt” I’ll have to go with Medellin

No Judging Critter Citrus Report Nine on 9: Critter Fleming No judging nine on 9 critter fleming critter

6) Will you travel the world with M. Revelli until the end of time? Not sure; the pay sucks but the convos are great

7) What is your favorite Batman movie and why? Never seen them. I’m more of a RAMBO kind of guy

icon cool Nine on 9: Critter Fleming No judging nine on 9 critter fleming critter Who is the all-time greatest rugby player in your family? My uncle, Pat

9) Are you judging us right now? Never

15 605x453 Nine on 9: Critter Fleming No judging nine on 9 critter fleming critter

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Jerry Buttles

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Photographer Jerry Buttles is doing some really good things. He has been traveling a bunch lately and has been adding some amazing photos to multiple projects that he has going. His portraits capture a very personal, human side of his subjects and he has an eye for interesting moments which seems to be a valuable trait in his line of work. I was lucky enough to get to know Jerry in school, so I know that aside from taking good photos he is a pretty kick ass guy as well.—Ronnie Wrest / The Citrus Report

Where is home?

Home at the moment is Oakland, CA

How long have you been taking photos?

I have been taking photos for 7 years now.

You have been working on a group of portraits lately. Can you tell us what your goal is for this series?

Yes, the overall goal is to make a book. And throughout the way I would like to show them in galleries. I have an ongoing list of artists that I want to incorporate into the artist portrait series. Its rad because everyone that I have asked to shoot is more than willing. I sort of feel into this project and am now in love with it. I think this series will be never ending so I will have to figure something out.

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What have you been shooting with?

Earlier on I was shooting with a Pentax 35mm then moved to a Canon EOS 35mm. After I had enough money saved up I bought a Canon EOS XTi. I was shooting with the XTi for awhile and recently back in 2010 I picked up a Canon 5D MKII. Also I am using a Bronica ETRS medium format camera that is amazing.

I found some recent proof that Harold Campings new Rapture date is real. 5 things you will do in your last 4 months?

1: moon people on Chatroulette daily 2: massive amounts of graffiti 3: not shave 4: Take photos 5: ride my bicycle.

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What else are you working on right now?

I am working on working on taking photos of homes in the bay area. I will be using 120 film only. My idea spawned from just riding my bike and driving through neighborhoods. I find a lot of the homes have so much character. It will be basic shoots of just the front of the houses from the street. But I think it will be neat.

You studied photo formally, how valuable was this experience to your work?

I feel that every experience in photography is valuable. It seems that school went by fast and I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. But I learned a lot about patience, critiquing and photo processes. There were a few projects that I really enjoyed and were worth the time I spent there. Being able to spend almost everyday in a creative environment was rad. Towards the end I was highly motivated to finish and get on with photography.

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tumblr ljmp5wJ8OO1qzkooro1 500 Jerry Buttles Photography oakland jerry buttles interview

What do you consider to be the polar opposite of a burrito?

Easy, a pile of poooo.

Who are a couple of your biggest influences?

My lovely wife Emily is a huge influence on my life and work as well as my family. There are so many artists that I am influence by: Pieter Hugo, Mike Giant, Nan Goldin, Rich Jacobs, Dave Kinsey…the list goes on.

Do you have anything coming up to look out for?

Hopefully, I have something I can’t really talk about but keep your eyes open for winter 2011.

More of Jerry’s work at http://jerrybuttles.com/

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Mike Mills at Family Los Angeles

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This should be a good one if you are in the Los Angeles area. As part of the promotion of Mike Mills’ newest film, Beginners, he will have an exhibition of drawings and paintings on display at the great Family Bookstore on Fairfax in Los Angeles. This all opens on June 16, 2011.

Also featured are photographs by Todd Cole and Sarah Soquel Morhaim, taken on set during the film’s production. Mills will be signing copies of Beginners, the new book collecting these drawings from 6 – 7:30pm, on June 16, 2011. That is this Thursday, if you happen to be reading this on the 14th or 15th.

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