The writers at Slate believe that the movie version of Fahrenheit 451 portrays a book-burning, right-wing dystopia. If only they could smell the irony.
Slate’s Matthew Dessem took to mocking conservatives in his preview of HBO’s screen adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. He writes that “for the most part, studios and networks are behaving as though they think Trump voters are a bunch of barely-literate boneheads, an audience not worth chasing.” But this adaptation is something for people on the right. “HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 will finally give right-wingers the heroes they deserve: firemen!”
Dessem apparently sees a bunch of alt-right symbolism throughout the film’s trailer. There’s the portrayal of an “idyllic futuristic America where, as the giant holographic eagle head in the trailer makes clear, citizens all feel safe expressing their patriotism” and a general “dislike of the printed word.”
In order to keep the public beholden to the state, government-funded fire departments are tasked with incinerating all forms of literature. The trailer shows that one of the books being torched is Brown Skin, White Masks (The Islamic Mediterranean); a book sympathetic to the plight of indigenous peoples under colonization. That is clear evidence that 451 is set in the Trumpian dystopia.
“That means Trump voters can be confident the show will evince the proper attitude toward critical thinking about colonialism and properly-sized neckties: burn them with fire.”
Now, why liberals see this as a right-wing treat, eludes me, considering book-burning and policing of public discourse has been their method lately. But they always assume we’re too dumb to get the joke.
In Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the state would have complete control over its citizens, with intellectual stimulation being outlawed, and vapid, sensory entertainment be used to preoccupy the lives of the masses. The plot of the story follows a fireman (played by Michael B. Jordan in the movie) who slowly loses indoctrination; becoming jaded with Big Brother, and becoming more and more curious about the books he’s instructed to destroy.
If this isn’t more of a reflection of the pervasiveness of PC culture and liberal Hollywood today, then I don’t know what is. Something tells me that maybe these progressives didn’t read the actual book.