Ray Bradbury was a man who hated the media. So it's with a sad irony that, we at Cultist offer a tribute to the author of our favorite seventh-grade mandatory read, Fahrenheit 451. We dug his brutal truth-telling, his words of wisdom, his work ethic.
Sadly, Bradbury moved on to that fantasy-land in the sky Tuesday, at the age of 91. But here in Miami, we'll forever remember him as a prognosticator of the modern age -- and one hell of a prune hawker.
In 1990, Bradbury graced our city's annual book fair with his presence at an event entitled, "An Evening With Ray Bradbury." While we weren't present, we can only imagine that he proffered unforgettable words of wisdom to aspiring writers and eager Miamians.
Ray was the ultimate fantasy writer. And Miami is the ultimate fantasy land. He could have woven the fabric of this city himself -- and on several occasions, he predicted changes that would alter it, including earbuds, surveillance cameras, and even the Facebook wall.
This uber-bizarre '60s prune commercial starring none other than Bradbury himself showcases a futuristic home and family, and predicts that people of the year 2001 will have wall-to-wall TVs (spot on), travel in
nomadic pneumatic people tubes (OK, so maybe he was a little off on that one) and eat lots of prunes (good advice).
Is it just us, or does this house and all-white wardrobe look like something straight out of South Beach?
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His influence on music still permeates. Deadmau5 penned a song inspired by his short story The Veldt, and Elton John's Rocket Man (written by Bernie Taupin) is based on Bradbury's story of the same name. Not to mention the other examples you may or may not have heard of. You can watch Deadmau5 performing The Veldt at South Beach's own Amnesia a couple months back below.
We dig his opinion on technology: "We have too many cellphones. We've got too many Internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now."
Doesn't this sound like an apt criticism of a society where citizens frequently cause fatal wrecks because they can't put down their smartphones? Bradbury never even got his driver's license. Here in Miami, we all could've used a little more Bradbury in our lives.