Weekend Diary

5 Oct

Saturday, 4th of October 2014

Peter is busily turning all our clocks one hour ahead right now. This means, we lose one hour during the night and from tomorrow on we are going to be on daylight saving (summer) time already!

It is 9 pm now. With the clock going on daylight saving during the night I tell myself it is really like 10 o’clock. I might soon get ready for bed and do a bit of reading in my kindle before I go to sleep.
I am about to start the fifth chapter in “1984”. Reading Orwell’s book a second time I find quite a challenge. I did read this book once before, as long ago as the 1960s. At the time 1984 seemed a long time away. I think I kind of could not believe that changes in society could become as extreme as what Orwell predicted. But of course we started to make plenty of jokes about it all the time when some changes seemed to become slightly Orwellian.
It seems to me changes are getting now actually more and more Orwellian. If for instance people do not blindly believe everything the government tells them and voice their opinion about it, people fear this may result in some kind of surveillance. And people realise how electronic surveillance is possible and more and more being made use of without people’s knowledge even. Just reading on the internet certain blogs that criticise the government could perhaps have consequences. This is what people think.
Anyhow, one gets the feeling some governments do not welcome a proper debate on issues that are controversial. More and more governments wants to hide things from their population. I think it is hard to trust a government that becomes very, very secretive; never wanting to tell people the truth. WAR IS PEACE. This is Orwellian!

Sunday, 5th of October 2014

Notes from Chapter Five of Orwell’s 1984

“Freedom is Slavery”

Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think.
Orthodoxy is unconsciousness

thought-criminals and saboteurs

DUCKSPEAK, to quack like a duck
Applied to an opponent, it is abuse,
applied to someone you agree with, it is praise.

Syme. There was something that he lacked: Discretion, aloofness, a sort of saving stupidity. He said things that would have been better unsaid, he read too many books . . . .

About a quarter of one’s salary had to be earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, which were so numerous that it was difficult to keep track of them. For Hate Week the house-by-house fund. . . . .

Thought Police – to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called.

Sunday, 5th of October 2014

Notes from Orwell’s 1984, Chapter 6

Winston was writing in his diary about a woman with a young face painted very thick. The whiteness of it, like a mask, and the bright red lips appealed to him.

But then he could not go on writing. “He wanted to do any violent or noisy or painful thing that might black out the memory that was tormenting him.” . . . .
“For days at a time he was capable of forgetting that he had ever been married. They had only been together for about fifteen months. The party did not permit divorce, but it encouraged separation in cases where there were no children.
. . . .Very early in their married life he had decided – that she had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered. She had not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility, absolutely none that she was not capable of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her.”
So some three years ago Winston found himself in a kitchen of one of the poorer quarters with the white painted woman who was a prostitute. He is aching to write about it, to confess. He remembers, “what he had suddenly seen in the lamplight was that the woman was OLD. The paint was plastered so thick on her face that it looked as though it might crack like a cardboard mask. There were streaks of white in her hair; but the truly dreadful detail was that her mouth had fallen a little open, revealing nothing except a cavernous blackness. She had no teeth at all.
He wrote hurriedly, in scrabbling handwriting:
‘When I saw her in the light she was quite an old woman, fifty years at least. But I went ahead and did it just the same.’
He pressed his fingers against his eyelids again. He had written it down at last, but it made no difference. The therapy had not worked. The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever.”

8 Responses to “Weekend Diary”

  1. berlioz1935 October 5, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Our war, we are participating in now, is called a “humanitarian” mission. Perhaps nobody is getting killed and only chocolates and chewing gum is dropped on the enemy.

    • auntyuta October 5, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      I say, chocolates and chewing gum does sound a lot better than bombs, Peter. Yes, maybe that way nobody is getting killed.

  2. The Emu October 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Quite an interesting and poignant writing Uta.
    We have definitely moved into the Orwellion world.
    We are being compatentalised by the progress of technology.
    How we think, what are our beliefs and position in society.
    Little boxes with our names on it, that are moved at the discretion of the faceless manipulatores of mankind.
    Emu aka Ian

    • auntyuta October 5, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      Thanks very much for commenting, dear Emu aka Ian. This Winston in the book sometimes does not know anymore what he thinks and what to belief. I think this is what this new world does to us.
      Have a good long weekend anyway.
      Uta 🙂

  3. stuartbramhall October 6, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    It’s clear from the points Orwell makes in 1984 that a lot of this was already happening in the 1950s. However even Orwell couldn’t have predicted the pervasive and intrusive effect the mass media would have on the way people think about themselves and the world.

    • auntyuta October 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      Thanks for commenting, Stuart. I think Orwell had a great imagination. And yes, he must have observed a lot of things and thought about the consequences of our and our leaders’ behaviour. In his imagination there were three great world alliances in 1984, constant wars and vapourising of people who did not follow strict party lines. Books were destroyed or historical incidents completely altered. The poor amounted to 85%.

  4. Munira October 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    Thought-provoking post Aunty Uta, I have not read 1984 myself, but it is such a coincidence that you are the fourth person I know who has mentioned it recently. I found out a few months ago that Orwell was born in India, can you imagine? http://www.dawn.com/news/1127258
    I love what you said about reading it in the 60’s when 1984 was far away in the future!
    Your post reminds me of Michael Leunig’s cartoons. Are you familiar with them? I’m sure you must be, since he is Australian! I’m a big fan 🙂

    • auntyuta October 13, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

      Michael Leunig’s cartoons are well known in Australia, and of course he is Australian. Thanks for the link to Orwell’s birthplace, Munira. It’s interesting, that people mentioned this author to you recently.
      Thanks for your comment, dear Munira. 🙂

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