The soul's joy lies in doing.
An active propaganda machinery controlled bv the world's largest corporations constantly reassures us that consumerism is the path to happiness, governmental restraint of market excess is the cause our distress, and economic globalization is both a historical inevitability and a boon to the human species.
The goals of corporate consumerism require that we accept its values, that we fail to seek better alternatives, that we reject the possibility of finding better alternatives ('psycho-babble'), that we fail even to see the existence of a problem to be solved, that we therefore live according to an entirely inadequate set of values, that we therefore live in complete confusion, that we therefore suffer profound and devastating psychological, physical and environmental disease; that we suffer and, if necessary, die for profit.
Those who cling to the untrue doctrine that violence never settles anything would be advised to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.
More than fantasy or even science fiction, Ray Bradbury wrote horror, and like so many great horror writers he was himself utterly without fear, of anything. He wasn't afraid of looking uncool - he wasn't scared to openly love innocence, or to be optimistic, or to write sentimentally when he felt that way.
Today enormous effort goes into convincing the American public that we're just consumers of media manipulation and sound-bites and spin doctors. That we care only about ourselves, money, and stuff. That acting out of passion and conviction doesn't make a difference. But all history shows that it does.
What's great about this country is America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.
Mourning is not forgetting... It is an undoing. Every minute tie has to be untied and something permanent and valuable recovered and assimilated from the dust. The end is gain, of course. Blessed are they that mourn, for theyshall be made strong, in fact. But the process is like all other human births, painful and long and dangerous.
What economy of colors there, compared to a tropical fish or a sunrise or even a pigeon's neck -- dull red, indistinct gray buff, some splotches of green. But what opulence of forms -- serpents, goblets, tapestries, coils, pouches, conch shells, washboards, sheets, waves, curls, fountains of translucent tissue.