21st Century Reactionary Religious Fanatics Photograph Themselves Burning Books


Oh, that liberal fascism: If your first thought when looking at the above image from François Truffaut’s 1966 film version of Ray Bradbury’s seminal Fahrenheit 451 is: “Burning books? Capital idea, old sport!”, you might just be cut out for academia:  “San Jose State University Meteorology decides burning books they don’t agree with is better than reading them,” as spotted by Anthony Watts:


From the Fahrenheit 451 department comes this indictment of California’s higher education’s “tolerance” for opposing views. When I first got the tip on this, I thought to myself “nobody can be this stupid to photograph themselves doing this” but, here they are, right from the San Jose State University Meteorology Department web page:

Here’s the photo of San Jose State’s book burners in action:

Click over to Watts’ blog for additional background and a much larger version of the photo, plus the screen cap of the San Jose State University Meteorology Department web page, before it was tossed down the Memory Hole, to mix dystopian science fiction metaphors, both of which were written as warnings, not how-to guides.

This 21st century example of book burning brings to mind the observation that Russell Kirk made in his profile of Bradbury from that tumultuous year that turned America upside down, 1968:

Some librarians, too, have taken alarm. Bradbury’s stories are disturbing! No disturbances can be permitted in this perfect American culture of ours. In error, a company which distributes educational books included among a consignment of books for children one copy of Fahrenheit 451. A female librarian detected this work of heresy, and fired off a letter of furious protest to the wholesaler. How dared they send such a dreadful book? “I took it right out in back and burned it.” Tomorrow is already here.


And it also brings to mind the late Michael Crichton’s observations on global warming as a religion:

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As Crichton observed in 2003, “I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form.” But like radical Islam, radical environmentalism is a rather punitive religion. When does the enlightenment arrive, and the book burning, and related hellfire and brimstone-themed imagery stop?

Update: Dubbing SJSU the “Green Weenie of the Week,” Steve Hayward quips, “Curious: just what is the carbon footprint of burning a book they dislike?  Did they get a permit from the local air pollution control district?”

Heh. Perhaps NBC’s David Gregory could investigate those topics.

Plus a great comment on SJSU found here: “If you lived in the 60’s, you might recall that the radical protests on campus were all about the ‘free speech movement.'” I guess we’ve come circle where now that the radicals control the campus, free speech is not to be tolerated.”


Update: Welcome readers clicking in from Mark Steyn’s post at the the Corner, with the brilliant headline of “Goebbel Warming.”


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