Ray Bradbury Gave Us Great Advice One Night At ASU--We Should Have Listened

We had the pleasure several years ago of attending a talk in Tempe by one of our all-time favorite writers, Mr. Ray Bradbury. He was a terrific speaker, funny, topical and full of piss and vinegar about the sorry state of things in modern-day American culture.

He spoke eloquently about the genesis of some of the books that had thrilled us so in our teenage years and beyond, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Martian Chronicles and, of course, Farenheit 451.

But what we remember most about that night (and a story we have oft repeated over the years) came during an extended question-and-answer session after his talk.


Someone stepped to the microphone and asked, "Sir, what's the first thing that you would tell one of your space creatures once they landed on Planet Earth?"

Bradbury looked intently at his questioner for about two seconds before answering.

"Don't watch local TV news!" he bellowed.

The audience roared.