Obvious Answers to Impossible Futures Kindle, PDF
Yestermorrow Obvious Answers to Impossible Futures by Ray Bradbury
YESTERMORROW The Voyage to Far Metaphor and Elephant India: A Preface
These essays were written mostly under the drunken influence of my dawn voices, my theater of morning, as I call it.
Any owner of cats will know of what I speak. Cats come at dawn to sit on your bed. They may not nip your nose or inhale your breath or make a sound. They simply sit there and stare at you until you open one eyelid and spy them there about to drop dead for need of feeding.
So it is with ideas. They come silently in the hour of trying to wake up and remember my name. The notions and fancies sit on the edge of my wits, whisper in my ears and then, if I don’t rouse, give more than cats give: a good knock in the head, which gets me out and down to my typewriter before the ideas flee or die or both. In any event, I make the ideas come to me. I do not go to them. I provoke their patience by pretending disregard. amazon kindle This infuriates the latent creature until it is almost raving to be born and once born, nourished.
I subscribe to the Big Bang theory.
Which is to say that if there isn’t one Big Bang each day in my life I feel ignored and bereft. If the right side of my brain rolls over and grabs a snooze on my left, I immediately run, Obvious Answers jump in a desert pool until the old brain divides in proper halves.
What we have here then in this book is a menu of Big Bangs, which may well be small pippins and stale popcorn to you. What does not fill your mind and propel you to the typewriter, Epub drawing board or computer, may well have filled and driven mine.
My plans for hardware stores, mouse museums, and camera obscura-photo-display-histories of artists and their palettes have been lying there like electric sockets waiting to shock for dozens or scores of years. I’m glad I happened to be the one who wet his thumb, shoved it in a creative socket and received a shock. With my hair upended I ran to my typewriter for further jolts. Each shock, each jolt, is recorded herein.
All that being true, what is my background?
Back around my thirteenth or fourteenth Christmas, my folks ruined the day. How? By giving me sweaters, socks, shirts, and several ties I wanted to hang myself with by the end of that dreadful, dull December morn.
“Don’t ever do that to me again!” I shouted. “Toys is what I want, dammit! Toys!”
My shout has continued every Yuletide since. I have had to train my wife and four daughters, and all of my friends, to do birthday and Christmas shopping for me only at Toys-R-Us or F.A.O. Schwarz. My basement workshop and my typing office are littered with magic sets, robots, Godzillas, masks, dinosaurs and—leapin’ lizards!—an eight-foot-tall Bullwinkle that used to stand in the window of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Emporium on Sunset Boulevard.
One of my closest friends is Stan Freberg, America’s greatest non-stop humorist. When I murmured “Xanadu!” on entering his palatial home for the first time, he ran down in the basement and ran back up with a sled on which “ROSEBUD” was painted in great flourishes.
My first stories, at age twelve, Kindle were written on a toy. One of those tin dial typewriters with a circular, rotating alphabet that you turn and press down, taking roughly half an hour to do one or two paragraphs. But rotate, press, rotate, press I did, and writer I became.How come this madness, early and late, for toys? Because I early-on sensed that they, like poetry, were essences of things, compacted symbols of possible or impossible lives. In sum, I absolutely knew that metaphor was all and everything! Metaphors for breakfast, by God. Sugar and cream ’em, spoon ’em down!
I was reminded again, during the Statue of Liberty celebration
That without metaphor we cannot understand, we cannot comprehend, we cannot know ourselves, or others. The gift of being able to compact experience, life, into convenient packets, is pivotal. Without the gift, we would be a-sea in doubts, and miscomprehensions. With it, we know who we are, and can tell one another, hoping that it is true. To sense, to know, to say at the age of twelve or twenty: I am a writer, I am an artist, I am an actor. Not maybe or hope to be, but I am right now!
My gift, if I have one, pdf is on occasion to sit in with groups, sometimes with museums, sometimes with corporations, to tell them who they are. To, in effect, solve their puzzlements, find their metaphor. Sometimes they know it all along, of course. Most of the time, in fact, they have a generalized sense of their aims. But often they have been so busy doing what they do, that they cannot easily hang a proper label on themselves. I must come along, then, as an amiable observer to take notes and make sums.
I am, then, the master of the obvious. Once I drum up a label, spell them their metaphor, everyone says, “Of course! Good Lord, that’s exactly what we are! How come we didn’t see that? Or, seeing it, shout it!”
Thus my subtitle: Obvious Answers to Impossible Futures. Obvious to Futures Which means, further, that one of the reasons I enjoy going through a toy factory is that I am surrounded by nothing but metaphors. Celebrations of joyful concepts. Blueprints and dreams extruded forth in three-dimensional form. Which is not to say that all factories are not manufacturing metaphors; they are. A rifle, or a cannon, is a metaphor for men throwing rocks. What started out at the mouths of caves, extended itself more violently in men’s heads, and then into machine shops and ammunition powder mills, where the art of throwing things refined itself. So a few feet or a few yards became a thousand yards or five miles. But the dream of the distance and the energy needed had to come first. The unborn metaphor.
A computer factory is a metaphor for a new kind of library
Is it not? True, computers do not look like books, but that is what they are; mechanical folios that hide symbols in their electronic brains and print them forth when we need books, very small or very large.
The Viking Lander on Mars is a toy grown to large size, a metaphor of a dream; that dream of extending our will, our hand, our seeing eye to another world. It is not a machine, it is us. All metaphors are us whether they exist in two or three dimensions or as pure sound or music.
But, as I say, I far prefer the factory of toys, for obvious reasons: I, like all men, have never grown up. Other men lie and say they have. I refuse to lie. I try to be a creative child, using my immaturity in such ways as benefit my society rather than harm it.
For it is men who inhabit toy shops to buy the toys that women think are foolish—monorails, trains, planes, laser guns, computer games, tanks and artillery—while women drop in to buy dolls for their children. They have few needs for the kind of toys that men love and invent and grow to large size to fill our cultures if not necessarily our civilizations. After all, women are born to have living dolls, children to whom they become mothers and teachers. If they choose. If they wish, I might add hastily. It’s up to them. If they choose not, then they must join the long line of men seeking jobs. For men come into the world naked, with no prime creativity. We men are secondary creators. cannot create life. We can help instill it, Amazon but there our function ceases. are left unclothed, jobless and seeking our future in toys. fill our garages with dreams and then open the doors and let out the first paperbag Montgolfier balloon, the first Ford, the first Kitty Hawk bicycle-become airship, the first large-eared mouse named Mickey, the first Pasadena college rocket-team, Von Karmen’s students, who sprouted the Jet Propulsion Lab for space-traveling, the first Wozniak Apple to be polished in Silicon Valley. All toys, self-inseminated, in garages and let loose in gargantuan form to change the world. Toys. Toys.
We are all in the same business, are we not? I make symbols on paper to explain the three-dimensional symbols that leap, roll, dance, and sing out of your manufactory halls.
And it follows that if I do not love and have fun with my ideas, and if you do not do the same, I will write bad stories and you will make bad toys.
I suppose another convenient cross reference might be the concrete mixer. You toss all the ingredients in, mix with water, pour, and let harden. What you get is something other than what went in. Surprise!
That is the element we all hope and pray for. To surprise not only others, but ourselves.
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