Lisa's Reviews > Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, havanas-en-masse, postliterate-fiction, so-good-it-hurts, unforgettable, 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die, orwell
Read 2 times. Last read February 12, 2017 to February 17, 2017.

Doubleplusgood Maxitruth in Oldspeak on Doublethink and Crimestop!

(Translation from Newspeak: Excellent, accurate analysis of oppressive, selective society in well-written Standard English reflecting on the the capacity to hold two contradictory opinions for truth at the same time and on the effectiveness of protective stupidity as a means to keep a power structure stable.)

There is not much left to say about this prophetic novel by Orwell which has not been said over and over again since its publication at the beginning of the Cold War in 1949. There are obviously elements which refer directly to Stalinist socialism, and the life conditions of people in the 1940s, but what strikes as sadly true, not for Communist propaganda behind the historical Iron Curtain, but for the celebrated democracies in the Western tradition, is the idea of rewriting history and altering facts a posteriori into their opposite to suit political agendas, and the usurpation of scientific and political language to follow a path of absolute brainwashing. Western reality has caught up with 1984 in the era of “alternative facts” instead of falsehoods, and the denunciation of non-existent massacres to create fear, and an increasingly “blackwhite” take on society in general.

Reading this novel for the third time with the speeches of the current President of the United States and his followers ringing in my ears, it is hard not to cringe at the reduction of language that Orwell predicted in "1984" (1949):

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

Just listening to the current reductionist rhetoric, expressing a less than shallow understanding of basic political thought and knowledge, shows the increasing spread of Newspeak at the highest level of command in democratic societies, claiming to be celebrating education, equality, freedom and human rights.

“So sad! Very dishonest! Total loser! You are fake news! Russia is fake news! The failing NYTimes! It’s great! It’s SO great! You wouldn’t believe how great that is (doubleplusgreat, I assume...). The largest! The best! Running like a fine-tuned machine! The least racist! The most humble! The one with the best polls, for the negative ones are fake!”

- Doublethink and crimestop nonstop!

The problem with dictatorships, and dogmas of a specific faith, is that they will never shy away from usurping and then destroying the generally accepted conventions of communication if it serves their purposes. Thus a creationist believer in the literal truth of the Bible will use the argument of “enquiry”, “controversy” or “evidence” in order to attack real scientists with their own vocabulary, while refusing to question the default setting of their own dogmas, which cannot deliver any evidence at all, being as real as the Bowling Green massacre. The argument of “controversy” is a one-way road to kill opposition with their own weapons while staying safely within the “protective stupidity” (crimestop) of absolute, monofocal faith. The “tolerance” of the open-minded scientist becomes a weapon for the fundamentalist.

(view spoiler)

The same selective use of language, a consistent tool to exert power in “1984”, can be seen in the Pro Life movement, a violent anti-abortion, anti-contraception fundamentalist Christian group, whose derogatory, misogynistic vocabulary strongly calls Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale to mind. Their aim, they claim, is to protect unborn life, which sounds honourable until you start to think about their opinions about and treatment of human beings that already dwell on earth: they are conservatives, mostly pro weapons, pro (ideological) wars, pro death penalty, anti welfare, anti climate change and anti health care. That does not rhyme well with the militant need to control female sexuality, labelled protection of the foetus’ right. Controlling sexuality is a major topic in Orwell’s dystopia as well - goodsex being newspeak for chastity.

What struck me as overwhelmingly sad in the main character of "1984", which did not catch my attention the first two times I read the novel, was the breaking down of the man’s sanity and mental capacities, rather than his body. The scary development for Winston Smith is not the prospect of torture, once he starts rebelling against the oppressive (“free”) society, it is the fear to lose his humanity in the process:

“To die hating them, that was freedom.”

This idea, expressed by Ionesco in his fabulous play Rhinocéros as well, is denied Orwell’s main character, however. He is broken, not only physically, but mentally, and after torture of unimaginable dimensions, his closing lines show complete surrender, body and soul, to the evil brainwashing machinery of Big Brother:

“He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother!”

Put this man into the context of an interview on television, where the President of the United States is questioned on his position regarding torture as a means to receive “information”. Dodging the question, he speaks about an undefined opposition “chopping off Christians’ heads”, thus creating the necessary atmosphere of fear to evade direct challenge, and then, in his reduced, stupid language, he says:

“Torture? Do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works.”

And depending on what is your desired outcome (“confession” of facts, alternative or otherwise), it does. Unfortunately. You can force a human being to speak against his or her will, using torture. And as long as you are not finicky regarding the accuracy of the received confession, you will be able to report results. An easy task for any doublethinker.

As for CRIMESTOP - the protective stupidity practised by most dogmatic, orthodox people in all parts of the world - that is the root of the evil. And it can only be challenged with a proper, objective, fact-based, politically and religiously untainted EDUCATION! And please do not confuse that with information! Information, as we know, can be “bad”. Really bad. Rotten. So unfair. So dishonest. The most dishonest information in the world. Total loser information.

Education Against Crimestop Now!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 25, 2014 – Shelved
February 12, 2017 – Started Reading
February 12, 2017 –
page 3
0.85% ""It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

Thus it all begins again! My teenage history club students asked me if we could read a novel in conjunction with our studies of the rise of totalitarianism in the 1920s and 1930s, and that is a request I feel honoured to agree to. So over the next weeks, I will be working my way through 1984 again, accompanied by my students' input."
February 13, 2017 –
page 22
6.2% ""Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference. Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed - would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper - the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime they called it.""
February 13, 2017 –
page 32
9.01% ""To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone - to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone:
From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink - greetings!

First reactions from my students: horror at the indoctrination of children, who love to watch hangings."
February 14, 2017 –
page 40
11.27% ""And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed - if all records told the same tale - then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past", ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past". [...]
All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control", they called it, in Newspeak: "doublethink".""
February 14, 2017 –
page 93
26.2% ""Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows."

This novel breaks my heart.

The first two times I read it (as a teenager in the 1990s, and then again, about a decade ago), it was dystopian fiction, scary and darkly funny. Now it is realism.

Big Brother says 2+2=5, meaning "This was the largest crowd ever. Period", and "Any negative polls are fake news!""
February 15, 2017 –
page 180
50.7% ""In a way, the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane.""
February 16, 2017 –
page 242
68.17% ""Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short [...] at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.""
February 17, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
February 17, 2017 – Shelved as: havanas-en-masse
February 17, 2017 – Shelved as: postliterate-fiction
February 17, 2017 – Shelved as: so-good-it-hurts
February 17, 2017 – Shelved as: unforgettable
February 17, 2017 – Finished Reading
May 31, 2017 – Shelved as: 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die
December 17, 2018 – Shelved as: orwell

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)


Matthias I have the feeling something will always be left to say about this book. Great review Lisa!


Matt A ++good review, Lisa! You should consider posting it on Amazon too (in case you have an account there) so that the poor folks outside of GR can read and think about it.


Lisa Matthias wrote: "I have the feeling something will always be left to say about this book. Great review Lisa!"

You're probably right, Matthias. As long as society struggles, Orwell will have a point! Thanks.


Lisa Jean-Paul wrote: "Fabulous review, Lisa. I used to love the soundtrack by the Eurythmics which so wonderfully captured the spirit of the novel..."

Not sure I know the soundtrack? Are you referring to a movie version of the book? Outing myself as an idiot here...


RK-ïsme Another thought provoking review, Lisa. I read an article recently where someone in San Francisco has been buying and giving away copies of certain books in order to get people thinking. 1984 was one of the books chosen.

I am doing the same here on a slightly smaller basis. There is a local bookstore which attracts a great many students and other young people through its doors so I'm using them. First book up is 1984.


Lisa Matt wrote: "A ++good review, Lisa! You should consider posting it on Amazon too (in case you have an account there) so that the poor folks outside of GR can read and think about it."

Thank you Matt, very touched! As you can imagine, this is a topic close to my heart.

I have multiple accounts on different Amazon sites, but I have never posted a review on any of them. Do you post yours there? I don't see the point, actually. For me, Goodreads provides the kind of bookish interaction I have been craving since adolescence, but at Amazon, it would be mere advertising? But I might have misunderstood the purpose of reviews at Amazon, as I rarely read any. Happy to have your input...


Lisa RK-ique wrote: "Another thought provoking review, Lisa. I read an article recently where someone in San Francisco has been buying and giving away copies of certain books in order to get people thinking. 1984 was o..."

I am so happy to hear that, RK-ique. If we all join together and share our inspiring reading, we might see change in the world. I am reading this with my history club students, but I cheated and finished it early :-)


message 8: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Yet another topical review delivered with huge energy, Lisa. You're right on every point as usual.


Eleanor Brilliant review Lisa.


message 10: by David (new) - added it

David Sarkies Great review. I don't necessarily agree with everything you have said, but I do agree that there are number factions in our society that are abusing language to push their own agendas and to shut out any form of opposition. The whole 'pro-life' argument is an example - how can one vote for a 'pro-life' party when you know that they also support the military industrial complex that is itching for another war simply to increase their profits.


message 11: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Lisa wrote: "I have multiple accounts on different Amazon sites, but I have never posted a review on any of them. Do you post yours there? I don't see the point, actually."

I post very few reviews on Amazon, mostly those of books by my indie author friends to help them a bit. I agree, it's some form of advertising, but I don't get paid or anything, and what I write I honestly mean. Sometimes I post a review of a book I want people to read and think about. About climate change for example. I think your review falls into that category. I guess any bit of resistance helps in the current situation.
If you decide to post your review you'll have to remove the links to other books, and the spoiler-tag as far as I can see.


message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Fionnuala wrote: "Yet another topical review delivered with huge energy, Lisa. You're right on every point as usual."

Thanks, Fionnuala! I find it quite fascinating to follow my own reactions to this novel, having read it in three distinctly different stages in life now. Orwell touches upon many deeply rooted fears, and the loss of freedom and independence of thought, as well as rich and diverse language, were the topics that hit me this time.


message 13: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Lisa wrote: "I have multiple accounts on different Amazon sites, but I have never posted a review on any of them. Do you post yours there? I don't see the point, actually."

I post very few reviews..."


Okay, thank you, Matt. That makes sense. Do you also have the feeling that the history classes in German high school and university are coming back to haunt you? Or am I being paranoid for seeing so many parallels between German history and the processes that are set in motion now? I am not saying we are there yet, but I just can't keep quiet, ... Starting to sound like a broken record.


message 14: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Lisa wrote: "Do you also have the feeling that the history classes in German high school and university are coming back to haunt you? Or am I being paranoid for seeing so many parallels between German history and the processes that are set in motion now?"

It is haunting alright. There are many parallels to be drawn, but there are differences as well, of course. It seems to me that Trump doesn't have a clear agenda, like Hitler had. I think the people to be afraid of are the president's Zuflüsterer, like Steven Bannon. They are way more intelligent than Trump, and they do have an agenda. And, no, you're not paranoid.


message 15: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa David wrote: "Great review. I don't necessarily agree with everything you have said, but I do agree that there are number factions in our society that are abusing language to push their own agendas and to shut o..."

Thank you very much for your comment, David! There is nothing more important in the world, as illustrated clearly in 1984, than to be able to disagree on certain ideas in a friendly and stimulating manner. The monosyllabic aggression is what scares me most.


message 16: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Eleanor wrote: "Brilliant review Lisa."

Thank you, Eleanor!


message 17: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Jean-Paul wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Jean-Paul wrote: "Fabulous review, Lisa. I used to love the soundtrack by the Eurythmics which so wonderfully captured the spirit of the novel..."

Not sure I know the soundtrack? Are ..."


Thank you, Jean-Paul! I will listen to it right now!


message 18: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Do you also have the feeling that the history classes in German high school and university are coming back to haunt you? Or am I being paranoid for seeing so many parallels between Ger..."

I have a hard time understanding how anyone can listen to his speeches and press conferences for more than 5 minutes without banging the head against a wall. It is scary to see the level of immaturity and narcissism, combined with the fact that he obviously does not have a clue what the job implies. Education is already at a low, but where is this going to lead? What if the world gets used to that reality show version of childish behaviour posing as political decision making? And what if someone steps on the three-year-old's toes?


message 19: by Matt (last edited Feb 18, 2017 08:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Lisa wrote: "And what if someone steps on the three-year-old's toes? "

Five minutes listening to Trump's incoherent speech is way too long for me. I quit after 5 seconds. The man is clearly delusional and has lost touch with reality. In some ways Trump reminds me of emperor Nero in the film Quo Vadis (great acting by Sir Peter Ustinov). You probably know it, but here's a link to show what I mean:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4Q_D...
(no stepping on a toe, but cutting it)


Chris Goodthought.


message 21: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Brainstorm wrote: "Goodthought."

Doublethanks!


message 22: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Do you also have the feeling that the history classes in German high school and university are coming back to haunt you? Or am I being paranoid for seeing so many parallels between Ger..."

Yes, you are so right with this argument, Matt!

Just look at this absurd weekend: Trump watches television (Fox News, custom-made for his level of intelligence and mindset) on Friday, and has an impression of Sweden, based on an uninformed journalist, probably not familiar with the country as a whole or with basic rules of fact-based unbiased journalism, but driven by a hate agenda against humanitarian action.

Trump then proceeds to use his impression from television (crazy in itself) at a nonsensical campaign rally on Saturday (after all, he has already won the election, right?), alluding to "something that happened on Friday in Sweden". It DID NOT REALLY HAPPEN ON FRIDAY, THOUGH: IT WAS AIRED ON TELEVISION ON FRIDAY! He sees no difference, and actually tweets his unreliable source on Sunday. Absurd. It would be funny if it wasn't so dangerous.

But the bottom line is: he creates worry and fear, as well as a platform for racists and misogynists to voice their propaganda, and his Zuflüsterer can control him by regulating his TV intake.


message 23: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Trump is the personified absurdity. But what is a mentally challenged person whose news-channel solely consists of Fox manure supposed to do? AFAIK his most important Zuflüsterer are his son-in-law, who is jewish-orthodox, and Steven Bannon, an anit-semite? So Trump gets conflicting views and statements that his simple mind simply cannot handle properly, and what comes out are statements like the one about Sweden.
You know, I really think about reading Trump's Crippled America. This seems to be his "Mein Kampf" in a way (luckily it's much shorter). I looked inside the book on Amazon, an it seems he really wrote it (or parts of it), as it contains the same incoherent statements we are used of him. But maybe reading the book helps to figure him out (in case there is anything to figure out).


message 24: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Trump is the personified absurdity. But what is a mentally challenged person whose news-channel solely consists of Fox manure supposed to do? AFAIK his most important Zuflüsterer are his son-in-law..."

I have also been thinking about reading it. I have a German copy at home (don't ask who gave it to me!) - but the translated stupidity is too painful to read. First page already made me vomit. I also think it is his genuine gibberish, though.


message 25: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Trump is the personified absurdity. But what is a mentally challenged person whose news-channel solely consists of Fox manure supposed to do? AFAIK his most important Zuflüsterer are his son-in-law..."

Sweden is probably just as astonished as Australia at the unexpected animosity from Mr. Trumpet. One speech and two tweets in our direction. Best response from a high profile politician:
"When you are in a hole, stop digging."
#lastnightinsweden


message 26: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Lisa wrote: ""When you are in a hole, stop digging."
#lastnightinsweden"


Great response; and some helpful advice for the Trumpster.

Now it's #lastnightinjapan :)


message 27: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Lisa wrote: ""When you are in a hole, stop digging."
#lastnightinsweden"

Great response; and some helpful advice for the Trumpster.

Now it's #lastnightinjapan :)"


That is hilarious! I find myself in a constant pendulum movement between dark frustration and lightheaded sarcasm - thus laughing and crying at the same time. Which is why I strongly identify with Brecht's dry sense of humour all of a sudden.


message 28: by Matt (last edited Feb 21, 2017 10:10AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Lisa wrote: "That is hilarious!"

There's more Trump satire where that came from. Like the IKEA wall (Sweden again!):

http://www.der-postillon.com/2017/01/...

When I read your review of Flüchtlingsgespräche I was reminded of Transit by Anna Seghers. Do you know it? I read Das siebte Kreuz but it didn't make a great impression on me. Great plot and themes, but the prose was a little awkward to me.


message 29: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Lisa wrote: "That is hilarious!"

There's more Trump satire where that came from. Like the IKEA wall (Sweden again!):

http://www.der-postillon.com/2017/01/...

When I read your review o..."


I sent the IKEA Börder Wåll to all my acquaintances this weekend. Too funny! And even funnier, we seem to be thinking in the same way: Seghers' Transit is next on my reading list. I ordered it with the Brecht book last week and started with Brecht because it was shorter, and I am still struggling to finish my Handke, - way behind all the others in the reading group... But as of tomorrow, Transit is on! I have never read anything by Seghers, but I have Das siebte Kreuz at home, so if I like Transit, I will just continue reading that.


message 30: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Lisa wrote: "Seghers' Transit is next on my reading list."

Looking forward to your reading progress!


Cecily You could have stopped at your first sentence (but I'm glad you didn't).


message 32: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Cecily wrote: "You could have stopped at your first sentence (but I'm glad you didn't)."

Thank you, Cecily! I guess this is the kind of novel that can be summarised in an Newspeak aphorism, but I had too many emotions after reading it to be short and concise :-)

Also, I find newspeak to be a fascinating topic in itself, and a major component of our current everyday language. I remember having students translate some of the short text messages they received into my "oldspeak", as I literally did not understand what they meant. LOL.


message 33: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Lisa wrote: "I find newspeak to be a fascinating topic in itself, and a major component of our current everyday language."

Me too. That's also why I like to read Victor Klemperer's LTI (Lingua Tertii Imperii – die Sprache des Dritten Reiches).


message 34: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Lisa wrote: "I find newspeak to be a fascinating topic in itself, and a major component of our current everyday language."

Me too. That's also why I like to read Victor Klemperer's [book:LTI (Ling..."


Oh, I will have to look for my Klemperer! I have the diaries at home, and it feels like just the right moment to get back to them.

By the way, Matt, according to newest tweet, what is a "liberal activist?" Something like a terrorist - FDP-style rather than RAF?


message 35: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Lisa wrote: "By the way, Matt, according to newest tweet, what is a "liberal activist?" Something like a terrorist - FDP-style rather than RAF? "

I don't know. I haven't checked on Twitter yet. But it sounds about right. A "liberal" will probably become and invective soon in the US, if it is not already.


message 36: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Beautiful doublethink: the liberals that are opposed to our liberty!


message 37: by Cecily (last edited Feb 22, 2017 05:16AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cecily Lisa wrote: "Also, I find newspeak to be a fascinating topic in itself..."

The first time I read it (long ago) that was the most striking thing for me. In my most recent reread (just over a year ago), it was the surveillance and big data that struck me. And thinking about it now, despotic autocracy comes first to mind, quickly followed by "alternative facts".

A book of many kinds, which is one reason why it endures.


message 38: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Cecily wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Also, I find newspeak to be a fascinating topic in itself..."

The first time I read it (long ago) that was the most striking thing for me. In my most recent reread (just over a year a..."


Yes, I'll second that, Cecily.


message 39: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Lisa wrote: "By the way, Matt, according to newest tweet, what is a "liberal activist?" Something like a terrorist - FDP-style rather than RAF? "

I don't know. I haven't checked on Twitter yet. Bu..."


Matt - it is getting scarier by the minute. Why can't the US leave Sweden alone?
Fox News now interviewing fake security advisor, - unknown in Stockholm politics, but with the "right" racist opinions about Sweden despite not even living there.

We have had several attacks on refugee centres since this right-wing media attention triggered by Trump started, - the scumbags of the nation feeling they can voice their hate now in the new climate.
I can only shake my head at all those people who claim to know "the truth" about Sweden - it is like the literal belief in the Bible. If you are so simpleminded, no evidence will make you change your mind. Sweden is as complex a country as any other, and there are of course tensions in the bigger cities: we are humans, after all. But the level of violence in Sweden is negligible compared to most other countries in the world, or even Europe. I am horrified to see the racist propaganda taking over ... Why have they chosen Sweden as an example?

http://www.dn.se/nyheter/varlden/fake...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/201...


message 40: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Lisa wrote: "Matt - it is getting scarier by the minute. Why can't the US leave Sweden alone?
Fox News now interviewing fake security advisor, "


Today it's Sweden, tomorrow another society, who knows? - maybe Germany. The sly and sneaky fox shows its ugly face. I can only guess that the reason for these attacks are some kind of smokescreen to divert attention away from their own ills. Fox & the Whitehouse Gov are obliviously working hand in hand now. Banning other media from the press briefings only fit the concept. The media "enemy" must be silenced.

You may want to cross-post your thoughts here:
https://www.goodreads.com/user_status...
As you can see this thread went on for a rather long time now; since now week before the presidential election.


message 41: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Matt - it is getting scarier by the minute. Why can't the US leave Sweden alone?
Fox News now interviewing fake security advisor, "

Today it's Sweden, tomorrow another society, who kn..."


Yes, I think it is time to start being a bit more pronounced on which side of the Börder Wåll one wants to be positioned. It is incredibly sad to see how reasonable, polite arguments are just washed away in a sweeping gesture. American hardcore racists discussing Sweden, using Fox News "facts", is hurting my sense of reality.
America's Mess First, you scumbags! Sweden is not even second.


message 42: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt It seems the newspeak dictionary will be on its way. It's starting with prohibiting words in official documents coming from CDC and who knows where it will end:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...


message 43: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Matt wrote: "It seems the newspeak dictionary will be on its way. It's starting with prohibiting words in official documents coming from CDC and who knows where it will end:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio..."


I actually had to check it is not April's Fool's Day, Matt. This can't be true. "Fetus"??? "Transgender"?? Are they implying those two words are not representing reality?

This quote scares the **** out of me:
"Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said."

Science in consideration with community WISHES!! I wish unicorns are real, just for the record.


Mohamad Almokhllati Thank you for the review, Sadly, dystopian fiction makes sense more than before. This genre is on the rise, while a lot of people declared it few years ago out of fashion.


message 45: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Mohamad wrote: "Thank you for the review, Sadly, dystopian fiction makes sense more than before. This genre is on the rise, while a lot of people declared it few years ago out of fashion."

It is just moving from being dystopia to being realistic fiction, ...


message 46: by Wen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wen So Nicely put Lisa. You made me laugh out loud and feel sad at the same time about the situation we're in that I'd rather not to go further into. Well, that's why we need fiction at times, no?


message 47: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Wen wrote: "So Nicely put Lisa. You made me laugh out loud and feel sad at the same time about the situation we're in that I'd rather not to go further into. Well, that's why we need fiction at times, no?"

Happy it made you laugh, Wen. There is always a funny element in satire - and a painful truth. Orwell perfected the balance between the two.


message 48: by Ray (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ray Super review including a chilling narritive setting out the parallels between fiction and current day mores.

It is amazing that Trump can say his hands are tied on family seperation one day and end (perhaps) the practise the next without blinking an eye or a sense of shame or shred of integrity. And instead of calling him out on it his supporters follow his lead. Depressing.

What a world we live in.

I have this in my rereads pile. It will be interesting to see what I make of the book I first read it as a callow shallow youth.


message 49: by Dimitri (last edited Jun 21, 2018 04:24AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dimitri There is not much left to say about this prophetic novel by Orwell which has not been said over and over again since its publication at the beginning of the Cold War in 1949.

Along came a Lisa...

Point of note; Torture seems to have resulted in some successes of the "obliteration of the self" (as the ideology of Eastasia goes) among the muslims in Western China today...


message 50: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Ray wrote: "Super review including a chilling narritive setting out the parallels between fiction and current day mores.

It is amazing that Trump can say his hands are tied on family seperation one day and e..."


It gets more and more accurate each day. Does the Bible need the same kind of daily rewriting that Winston Smith did for Big Brother's changing truth?


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