Monday, July 02, 2007

July 4 Reality Check

Opinion by Historical Society Secretary Clyde List.

George Orwell Portrait.I've just finished re-reading George Orwell's 1984 and there are a number of things in 1984 that are just like what we see all around us in 2007. For example:

1. The "news" is not. (What passes for news may really be a paid commercial, warns Peter Ames Carlin in today's "Oregonian").

2. Musicians take the world stage merely to beller nonsense at the top of their lungs. (In 1984 the "words of these songs were composed without any human intervention whatever....")

3. Terror is on every side. (in 1984 it's always "Goldstein" we hate. Today it's the no less illusive Osama ben Laden.)

4. Radio talk jocks and their loyal fans prove daily that "...stupidity is as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain." (Hermann Goering once commented that the trick is to keep everybody mad so that they'll believe anything you tell them.)

If Orwell were alive today what would he say to the People of Sherwood? In Orwell's Old Town (London), there are no antique stores because it is illegal to own anything that might remind people of "...an age quite different from the present." In Orwell's Old Town, anything of antique value is quickly melted down. Even old people's memories are "...nothing but a rubbish heap of details."

Thank God, the Sherwood Historical Society is on hand to scream bloody murder any time we see the past being bulldozed to the ground. The most memorable advice Orwell gives: Save your memories. Don't wait for the Historical Society to say they're worth saving. Nothing you remember about your life is too trivial.

1 comment:

jaycee said...

Unfortunately, the good guy "Winston" isn't as smart as he thinks he is. He smokes cigarettes! He doesn't need Big Brother to control his thinking because (according to a 2005 report by Changeux and Edelstein)"...repeated exposure to nicotine distorts the brain system responsible for cognition...."

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