There is a book commonly read in High School, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.

Many High School teachers claim that it is about censorship, Sen. McCarthy and authoritarian government. This column wrote about how the book really illustrates the problem of a TV culture including the problem of focusing on non-important things.

It turns out that Ray Bradbury agrees. From an LA Weekly article:

Bradbury, a man living in the creative and industrial center of reality TV and one-hour dramas, says it is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature.

“Television gives you the dates of Napoleon, but not who he was,” Bradbury says, summarizing TV’s content with a single word that he spits out as an epithet: “factoids.” He says this while sitting in a room dominated by a gigantic flat-panel television broadcasting the Fox News Channel, muted, factoids crawling across the bottom of the screen.

His fear in 1953 that television would kill books has, he says, been partially confirmed by television’s effect on substance in the news. The front page of that day’s L.A. Times reported on the weekend box-office receipts for the third in the Spider-Man series of movies, seeming to prove his point.

Glad to I got the point of the book.

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