Chris Graham: The Montags!

Column by Chris Graham

I hate that it even occurred to me – that the protagonist in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag, seemed to me to share the same last name as the vapid reality-TV chick from “The Hills.”

But it is so. Heidi Montag would no doubt not get the coincidence. it would require her to actually read a book. Can’t imagine that she’d do that.

A quick primer for those unfamiliar with the storyline in Fahrenheit 451 – think futuristic society where people aren’t allowed to read books anymore because it’s been decided that it’s better for people not to be bothered by competing ideas and depthful knowledge and insights when their time would be better spent keeping up with the goings-on of fictional families thrown at them from images displayed on walls in their homes.

This book was written in 1953. I should note that I’m writing this from my upstairs office at a desk in front of my big-screen TV. Yeah. Ahem.

The Montag in Fahrenheit 451 is a fireman of the future – their job has devolved in the fireproof future to burning books when they’re discovered so as not to taint the population with their poision.

Uh, huh – poison. I’ve never watched “The Hills,” but I had the misfortune to have “The Today Show” on one morning a few months back when Heidi Montag was making a guest appearance to tout herself as being among the most important people in the world, which I understand is what she does pretty much on a regular basis.

I’ve not since watched “The Today Show,” for those keeping score at home. And of late I’ve broken my habit of watching the local evening news and reading the local news online. Too many cooking segments and stories about petty crimes and endless chattering about how we’re either getting too much rain or not enough rain.

Nor am I working myself from 9 a.m. to midnight as had become my custom. I’m reading more – almost done with Fahrenheit 451, just finished Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, after having consumed Mitch Albom’s latest and one of my new favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell, and his recently released What the Dog Saw.

I’m taking longer walks with the dog, getting away for the occasional three-day weekend, watching more movies, doing more kickboxing and bike riding.

The common thread to what I’ve done to repurpose myself – Montag. Seeing her prattle on self-importantly scared me straight, and reading about him fighting what we’re becoming more and more each day into the future has me thinking that I can probably get through the day without knowing every last detail of how last night’s “Celebrity Apprentice” went down.

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