Ray Bradbury wrote his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 in 1950. Most kids were required to read this book when they were seventeen years old. Having just re-read the novel at the age of forty-seven makes you realize how little you knew at seventeen. It is 165 pages of keen insights into today’s American society. Bradbury’s hedonistic dark future has come to pass. His worst fears have been realized. The American public has willingly chosen to be distracted and entertained by electronic gadgets 24 hours per day. Today, reading books is for old fogies. Most people think Bradbury’s novel was a warning about censorship. It was not. It was a warning about TV and radio turning the minds of Americans to mush.
33% of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70% of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57% of new books are not read to completion.
There are over 17,000 radio stations and over 2,000 TV stations in America today.
Each day in the U.S., people spend on average 4.7 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.
The projected average number of hours an individual (12 and older) will spend watching television this year is 1,750.
In a 65-year life, the average person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.
Number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child – 20,000
Number of videos rented daily in the U.S. – 6 million
Number of public library items checked out daily – 3 million
Percentage of Americans who can name The Three Stooges – 59%
Percentage who can name at least three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court – 17%
Award winning astrophysicist Alexia Demetria says our solar system is entering an interstellar energy cloud that will soon bring global catastrophe.