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George Orwell's "1984"

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    We all read "1984" in high school, but I had forgotten what a great book it is.

    I am monitoring a high school English class today, and they are currently reading the book, which is the last novel that George Orwell/Eric Blair wrote before he died in 1950.

    As I skimmed through a few pages in the novel itself, and the "afterword" by Eric Fromm, a few things jumped out at me:

    1) "doublethink" (on page 322) means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind , and accepting both of them" .. one recent example is the bill that was introduced in the Texas legislature that called for the death penalty for any women who had an abortion, which is NOT EXACTLY pro-life

    2) in Orwell's "1984" , it is the completely unlimited use of torture and brainwashing .. that destroy human nature ... (318)

    since the end of the Bush era, we no longer use torture (I hope) but there is no doubt at all that a large part of our population is being brainwashed by the FOX network

    3) the importance of Orwell's concept of war lies in a number of keen observations ... first of all, he shows the economic significance of continuous arms productions, without which the economic system can function (319)

    (worldwide arms sales in 2017 totaled $398.2 billion)

    4) reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else .. whatever the Party holds to be true is the truth ''

    (remember when Rudy Guiliani said "truth isn't truth?)

    (closely tied to this concept is the fact that Trump says that all news that is critical of him is "fake news"

    5) power means the capacity to inflict unlimited pain and suffering to another human being (321) ..

    (sounds like putting children in cages, deporting the spouse of a servicewomen who was killed serving the U.S in Afghanistan, or taking away people's health insurance)

    I think that if we took the time to read the novel again, we would find a LOT of things that we are living with in our society today

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    Arizona -- Good observations. Others have also made the Orwell "1984" connection to Trump, most notably Adam Gopnik writing in the New Yorker shortly after Trump took office in 2017.

    Orwell's "1984" and Trump's America

    Gopnik observes that Trump's kind of "brute authoritarianism" rests on lies told so often and repeatedly that it becomes exhausting to fight the lies. The act of falsifying reality not only changes perceptions, it is above all a way of asserting power. You might enjoy comparing notes with Gopnik at the above link.

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    George Orwell died before computers and hi tech toys had become available and now the world has an Orwellian World on steroids where the ordinary citizens is getting so many conflicting messages they don't know what to believe and that is bad news for the future of any country who needs to know the truth about what is really going on in the world.
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    CBS just reported that all the television channels at the FDA office known as White Oak had been changed to FOX, and could not be changed. The email that was sent out informed the employees that the decision had come from the Trump administration. After CBS published the report, an FDA official contacted the network and told them that the "rumor" was not true.

    Unless you know someone who works for the FDA, it would be difficult to determine the veracity of the memo. However, the fact that it actually sounds believable says a lot about our country.

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    As I've often advised my sister-in-law (who voted for Trump) always consider the source.

    Today's blurb from GOP USA is another example of why you need to consider where you get your news from, since they claim that a "recent study" shows that America has become less racist under Trump.

    If you Google "has racism gone down under Trump?", you will find several sources that would verify that fact. However, since some of the sources are Breitbart and USSA News (a Tea Party publication) I would not consider them to be credible sources.However, I WOULD consider the FBI to be a reliable source, and the organization has said that hate crimes have gone UP since Trump was inaugurated.

    As GOP USA mentions, segregated graduated ceremonies have gone UP since Trump was sworn in. I may not be the smarted guy in the world, but aren't segregated graduation ceremonies racist? Naturally, we wouldn't have to consider them to be racist if the colleges simply put in "white only" bathrooms so that even n*****s could attend, but that simply is not going to happen.

    If you need further proof that we HAVE made progress against racism, watch "Green Book" or "42". You can still find "Green Book" on Red Box, and you can also find "42" on Netflix. "42" is about Jackie Robinson's introduction into Major League Baseball in 1948. Harrison Ford plays the part of Branch Rickey.

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    If segregated graduated ceremonies are as much of a surprise to you as they are to me, it's absolutely true that 76 colleges had blacks-only graduation ceremonies in 2019, which are IN ADDITION TO regular commencement exercises, and are not mandatory. They also are not new, since Stanford had the first "blacks only" ceremony more than 40 years ago.

    In my opinion, they are just as bad an idea as were "white only" drinking fountains more than 50 years ago.

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    In Steve Almond’s book “Bad Stories” he talks about Neil Postman’ book “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business” and how Postman was asked to discuss “1984”. According to Almond Postman said that Brave New World was more likely. That we would be drowned in data and entertainment until irrelevancyset in and we embraced our oppression. We have less to fear, imo, from the state and more to fear from the private sector and their endless pursuit of profit via algorithms and data mining.