A little under two years ago I wrote an appreciation of the American fantasy author and short story master Ray Bradbury. It was, I thought, a pretty nice tribute; a way of thanking Bradbury in public for all the pleasure he's given me since I first discovered his work in my teens.
It seemed to me to be the perfect way to set out my stall. Surely there could be no more fitting way to declare admiration for a writer than with words, I thought. I was wrong. I had also thought that there was nothing left for the internet to present to me that would truly boggle my mind, cause my jaw to drop. I was wrong on that score, too – for I had yet to see comedian Rachel Bloom's video of her song, written to mark the 90th birthday, which he celebrates today, of my favourite writer. It surpasses my piece in ways and on levels on which I could never hope to compete. It is, you see, called Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury.
Here's the link for Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury on YouTube. If you're anywhere near work colleagues, elderly relatives, small children or nonagenarian science fiction writers, I feel I must warn you in advance that you view it at your own peril. If none of those apply, fill your boots. Best put down any hot drinks first, mind.
If you're not able to view it, the video is done in the style of a teen pop song, with Bloom in the Britney Spears role. She is sitting in her bedroom taking a call from a caveman-ish beau, who is keen to squire her on an evening of entertainment, perhaps to the cinema or somesuch diversion.
But Bloom has a better idea. She's staying in, not to wash her hair, but to read. And her favourite author is none other than Bradbury, author of Dandelion Wine and The Martian Chronicles. And she loves him so much that, well. As it says on the tin. Something Wicked This Way Comes, indeed.
It's slick, neat and hilarious. Other pop songs have referenced pop-culture celebrities in this way, of course, but Bloom's effort has less to do with Pop Will Eat Itself's Can U Dig It? and its refrain in tribute to the band's fave graphic novelist, "Alan Moore knows the score", and falls more in the camp of Half Man Half Biscuit's "Fuckin' Hell It's Fred Titmuss".
Rachel Bloom's facebook fan page lists her as "an actor/writer/comedian living in New York City", and goes on to divulge that she "hosts a monthly standup show called "Annette Funicello's Beach Party" every last Monday of the month".
There's a photo of Bradbury allegedly watching the video circulating on the internet. He certainly looks suitably gobsmacked, but his reaction has not yet been officially verified. The odds are, though, that it's certainly the most inventive 90th birthday present he's received, and from the looks of him it probably raised his temperature somewhat - perhaps even to Fahrenheit 451.
If anyone can top that as a tribute to their favourite writer, I really would like to see it.
The vido (NSFW):
Supposedly picture of Ray Bradbury watching the video tribute
And I can't find any appropriate tags :(