Sci-Fi Fodder

Bradbury Song Criticism

Two Strips of Latinum (penned by Dennis Rayburn) is typically a strong part of the Airlock Alpha site. Not this week, however, as I could disagree more with his latest observation that the "...YouTube Video About Ray Bradbury Goes Too Far".

If you don't know what I am talking about, here's the Cliff Notes. Comedian Rachel Bloom created a parody song called "F*** Me Ray Bradbury" (this link works, so don't click it at work). The video shows Ms. Bloom turning down a date to read a book...and exhorts Mr. Bradbury to do what her date wanted to do. Wired describes the video as "... Melding bouncy power pop with a string of sexual scenarios involving the aging sci-fi writer and his books, the video shows Rachel Bloom envisioning some pretty explicit escapades." Translated, I think that means the tune is catchy and she is kinda hot - but that's just me talking.

Dennis Rayburn doesn't approve of this video. He has several objections to the video, which he says "goes over the line". He says:

  • It's not funny.
  • It fuels the concept that some actually believe that like the song says from the musical, Avenue Q, says, “The Internet Is For Porn.”
  • It's totally disrespectful of a man that is a true, living legend in the world of science-fiction.
  • It fails to take into account Mr. Bradbury's very well-known dislike of the Internet.
  • It might make Mr. Bradbury angry.

He does note that the song "...has a pleasant tune". I agree - it's still humming in my head.

If Mr. Rayburn had just said that he didn't like the video, I wouldn't be posting. However, I can't buy his reasoning for critcizing this young woman's work. First off, I laughed - she actually *licks* a Bradbury signature in a book. That's funny stuff! And, last I checked, the Avenue Q song is really pretty accurate - the internet has an awful lot of porn on it these days.

No, most of his dislike seems to come from some sort of deference to Bradbury's feelings. Now, I wouldn't want to deliberately anger Bradbury - I consider him one of the greatest Sci-Fi writers of all time (almost up to Heinlein!). However, Bradbury is known as a bit of a Luddite, refusing to let Yahoo put his books on "electronic reading devices" and he has a long standing hatred of "the internets". That stance is part of why I enjoyed the song. Spoofing a torrid love affair with a crotchedy, old, technology-hating writer ON THE INTERNET is pure genius.

So, sure, the song has some NSFW language and is a bit sexed-up. Rachel Bloom accomplished her goal (and made me laugh). I think it is a success.