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Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by Lancealot, Aug 13, 2006.
Medicated Toilet tissue?! :faint:
Only $50 a box now.
Yes indeed... and he was so right!
"Animal Farm" in middle school was my introduction to him. And since it was the '70s and the Cold War was still going on - the parallels to the USSR were part of the classroom discussion. It was one of those books that made an immediate and lasting impression and it also advanced my love of reading in general. "1984" is a classic for good reason, but even his less-popular books like, "Burmese Days" are impressive.
An excellent and detailed analysis of Orwell's ideologies can be found in the 1990 book "Orwell and the Politics of Despair: A Critical Study of the Writings of George Orwell," by Alok Rai. It's dense going in spots, but Rai does a very good job of contextualizing Orwell's perspectives at various points in his life, and figuring out just where he stood. Rai is writing neither to reclaim Orwell for the left nor to support his adoption by the right, but to demonstrate that in fact Orwell came, by the end of his life, to a state of extreme pessimism about any hope for the future. "Despair in 1984 and its perverse intensification," he writes, "is, in a sense, Orwell's punishment of himself for having entertained hopes at all."
Brave New World by A. Huxley....
you see.... they all sensed it was coming....this Big Brother ... left scum....they all sensed it...they did
I might read that book next so sad.
One of the things I thought was interesting about "A Brave New World" is that it had a surface utopian feel to a dystopian society. "1984," "Darkness at Noon," etc. are all horrible, repressive, societies, but "A Brave New World" has an added dimension that argues that with enough "opiates for the masses" the masses will willing submit - much easier than the repressive regimes of "1984" etc. It's an interesting philosophical / political twist on the dictatorship genre.
Read "Brave New World Revisited," written by Huxley in 1958. An interesting exploration of what he was actually getting at in the original book, and a thorough attack on the profit-driven psychological manipulation and mass consumerism that stood at the heart of postwar society.
And as far as "left scum" is concerned, I admit I do leave a ring in the bathtub, but that's only because I get dirty from hard physical work.
In all seriousness, though, be advised that I'm not going to have that kind of cheap political namecalling in this or any other thread in any part of the Lounge that I control. One warning, and you've just gotten it.
You are right. Your comment is noted.
It wasn't hard to see it coming. :doh:
You'll Never Know- Book One: A Good and Decent Man.
First book of a 3 volume graphic trilogy by my friend, Carol Tyler. World War II, and how it affected one man and his family for decades.
Law Without History?; John Paul Stevens, The New York Review of Books; Oct. 23, 2014
Stevens' review of Judging Statutes by Robert A Katzmann
Whenever I teach any of the introductory English courses at my college, I start off by writing on the board, "Generalities and cliches are the death of thought: God is in the details." Then I hand out copies of Orwell's "Politics and the English Language." No bloviating allowed.
Huxley wrote 'The Year of the Sex Olympics', didn't he?
Incredibly prescient story in which a 'sex with anything' attitude to TV programming facilitates control of the masses, until they accidentally discover that giving the masses violence to watch makes them even more docile.
So, they put a guy and a lady on an island, and they form a relationship. Then they introduce a violent and sadistic criminal. The whole thing is broadcast live, like Big Brother.
Considering when it was written it was way ahead of its time. Like Frankie Goes To Hollywood said 'Sex and Horror are the new gods'.
Not much has changed since the coliseum I guess. The masses are threat to civilization who require constant spectacle to prevent them overturning the social order (and all that deep kinda stuff).
I was introduced to Animal Farm in high school. The funny part is how. It was on the last day of school and I was clearing out my locker for the last time. I went over to the trash can to throw away some papers and found a copy of Animal Farm in there. For some reason I kept it and still have it to this day.
Those who've seen the 1954 animated movie version of Animal Farm -- note the significant differences between the film and the book, and then realize that the film was entirely funded by the CIA. Who's Orwelling whom?
Speaking of which, I'm reading "Blowback," by Christopher Simpson. Written in 1988, this is an exhaustively researched, thoroughly documented look at how the CIA recruited and employed as many "former" Nazis as it could get in the years after the Second World War, as advisors on Eastern European policy and as active intelligence operatives. These weren't "rehabilitated" cuddly Nazis like Wehrner "I knew nooooooothink!" von Braun, but full-blooded hardcore Nazis, including SS officers and bona fide war criminals like Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon." Simpson not only explores the decision to work with these men, but the influence their ideologies had on the political culture of the Cold War period both inside and outside the Agency.
Wow, that's interesting, I didn't know that. I knew that the CIA funded Disney's Mulan.
There was a lot of CIA involvement in popular culture in the fifties and sixties -- the head of censorship at Paramount, for example, was on the Agency payroll, and made sure that anything that came out of that studio toed the required political line.
If you've ever seen the awful 1956 movie version of 1984, there's a reason why it's so awful. The Agency was up to its old tricks again.
Yeah, that's the version that ends with Winston Smith shouting his defiance at Big Brother, isn't it?