I just watched a couple of videos featuring Ray Bradbury. The first is a lecture he gave in 2001 as part of the Writer’s Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University. His speech contains all kinds of useful advice for aspiring writers, as well as lots of fascinating events from his life. It was especially interesting hearing the details of how some of his books came to be written and published — The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes — and about some of his friendships with famous people like Gene Kelly and Ray Harryhausen.
The second video is a sit-down interview immediately following his speech, in which he continues with his thoughts on writing, on life, and on anything that comes to mind. During some of his more critical moments he talks about television news….
“All the local television news today is crap…. 10 second sound bites… we’re being fragmented….. local tv news is an abomination.”
…. and the space program…..
“We’ve been doing things with the space shuttle the last 15 years which is a bore….. that’s not where we belong, 200 miles above Earth….. we belong on the Moon… we belong on Mars, goddamnit….. here we are with the damn space shuttle, it lands like a plane… I don’t wanna see a plane land!”
He’s at turns charming, opinionated, funny, irascible, and always irresistible. I got a good deal of enjoyment from hearing him speak, and hope you do as well.
The lecture (54 minutes):
And the following interview (29 minutes):