I read an article the other day. It was all about the fact that we are allowed to do this. If “they” want to shut us down…they will. That hit home with me. There is a line, that if we shuffle one foot over, will bring un-devine retribution and we will disappear into obscurity. It happens. We have all seen it. I don’t know where that line is, here in the dark. Maybe that is the plan, if there is one.
Sometimes I feel like an unwitting Emmanuel Goldstein. We have been dismissed however…us out here beating our heads against each other. We are on the fringe of society and when it comes right down to it, hated by most whose biggest decision of the day is deciding between a number 1 or a number2 for lunch. That hate they manufacture for us in their media goes by many names…tin-foil hatters(mad?), conspiracy theorists, anti-semites, lefties, home-grown terrorists…and on and on. I never really thought it would come to this.
When I was a youngster reading Orwell’s prescient novel it was just a book. At the time I thought that things could never get to that point. And I was right. They never will. Not the way he predicted. The limits of decency in his mind could not have fathomed the methods by which we would reach his worst nightmare, when he penned it the year after terrorist jews invaded Palestine and set up their base of operations.
Somewhere in my head there was relief when we reached 1984 and I looked around at the world and saw no invasion of privacy to speak of…no big government pervasive in my life and no global wars which we were herded into halls to cheer. And I could still get razors anytime I wanted them. My room 101 was empty.
This novel has been co-opted by the media and is now seen as an antiquity…fear porn if you will. The kids doing book reports on it(if they still do, I dunno) are using the same sentence to begin their essay: “I think this book is a warning….”. It has become passe and irrelevant. It is now published in it’s gazillionth edition by Simon and Schuster. Ironic. IT has become Emmanuel. It’s images of hatred have been hijacked, by hollyweird and hence popular culture… to include the fear, but not the rats.
I am not going to harangue about the modern mis-interpretations of this work. We all know out here…we Winstons…that there are no real years anymore. Time stopped in 1948. It is always that year and it shows no sign of progressing any further. But what of the fear?
There is something about reading a book or watching a movie that compresses and takes you out of time. You don’t see things clearly when they happen slowly. They know this. In this novel we are thrust to a time of nightmarish oppression quickly. To live it in transition is something entirely different. Funny really. What I have seen over half a century is mind-boggling to say the least. But how do I tell us all? Who save we few will listen.
Room 101 holds a collective fear now. They don’t need to threaten anyone individually with tailored horrors. They have crafted our imagination and we have allowed it. It’s off-the-rack and we can’t get our wallets out fast enough. None of us want to go to that room to which they alone hold the key.
Every single facet of Orwell’s dreadful world is right here and now. Slavery, death, war without end, blind obedience to screens, torture…it’s all here. And we invited it because of what is in that room….
That novel is in the room. And in it’s newest edition it has a mirror-like cover.
If they hold a particular method to an end as the ultimate evil, they can achieve the same end by way of that deception.
“By way of deception…”