• Marlyn S. Martínez

The Illustrated Man, Rocket Man and Elton John

Science fiction is not my preferred type of reading. But when asked what book and movie I would take with me on a one way trip to space, Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man came to mind first.

The illustrated man got tattooed by the wrong person. To his regret, the images on his skin are far from being normal tattoos. They move to animate stories about the future. Rocket Man, Elton John's classic tune (one of my favorites) is based on one of the stories. My curiosity to learn why the song came to be led me to discover Bradbury's fictional tales. The future in our planet, humans living in space, our interactions with other creatures in planets far away and the use of technology are all imagined and reimagined on those pages.

I had not finished reading the book, but it strikes me that being wrote in the 50's is so well versed in portraying things that only now are becoming a reality. Take virtual reality (VR) for example. This technology is taking us to far away places and is being adopted by retailers, the film and game industry, not for profit organizations, individuals and everyone in between faster that we think. The results of such a powerful technology is yet to be seen. Bradbury show us a future in which the human minds could not be powerful enough to contain the power of the machines we created.

Although not on purpose, I would also take with me another Elton John related media. I recently watched parts of The Lion King Broadway musical on VR and it is stunning. I love the music, the choreography, and the costumes. After thinking a little more about this piece of art I figured the lyrics are appropriate for such a trip. I will see the planet, the sun and everything that I know from another perspective. This is a part of The Circle of Life that I found very related to the path I am at.

The Circle of Life

From the day we arrive on the planet

And blinking, step into the sun

There's more to see than can ever be seen

More to do than can ever be done

There's far too much to take in here

More to find than can ever be found

But the sun rolling high

Through the sapphire sky

Keeps great and small on the endless round



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