To Orwell Today,
re: email exchange with student saying "1984" was boring
I am extremely new to your website. However, at 58 years of age, I am certainly no spring chicken. I was born and raised, and currently reside once again, in Portsmouth, Virginia, USA. I am an old unreconstructed Rebel (Confederate?). From my POV, my "homeland" has been an "occupied country" for 141 years. However, to the point(?). I do have a B.A. in studio art from Old Dominion University (1979) in Norfolk, VA, right across the narrow Elizabeth River from the old hometown. I am neither uneducated, nor stupid.
I am a U.S. Navy veteran of the undeclared Vietnam War. No, I never saw combat, I spent my time on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, showing the former USSR our "big stick". Most of my fighting was done in the bars of Athens, Thessalonica, Istanbul, Palma de Majorca, etc.
I first read "1984" as a high school sophomore in "1964". Even then, I did not find it hard to read, understand, nor boring. Twenty years, and one failed marriage later, I found myself at the age of 36 living back at the old homestead with my newly-widowed mother. Pop died in August of '84. The "industry" re-issued "1984" in "honor" of the year, don't you know. I bought a newer copy and read it again. Once again, I found it enlightening, but never boring nor hard to understand.
I AM now two years past my twenty-year regular reading of it, but it still resides, dust-covered in my bookshelf/nightstand right beside my now dearly-sought-after bed. You have inspired me to take "the hard road" as some of you see it; dust it off, and read it again. I thank you immensely for that gentle goad. It will, of course, take me weeks (or even months) just to begin to explore your excellent site. And, YES, Jackie Dear, I well REMEMBER, at the tender age of 15.75, EXACTLY WHERE I was, and WHAT I was doing, the other "day of infamy" in 1963, or "The Day The Freedom Died"
Blog on, Sister-in-Freedom, Blog On!!!!!!!!
Alexander Franklin Mutter, B.A. (real), D.S.,b. (Doctor of Scatology, bovine)
Firstly, let me say that I had to look up what "scatology" meant to confirm whether or not it was what I thought it was (which it was) and then add that to "bovine" and the letters after your name make sense. In other words, a civilized way of saying Phd in "b***s***". Thanks for the laugh.
Secondly, when you say you are new to my website you weren't joking because the conversation you're talking about where I agreed with the high-school student that "1984" was hard to understand and boring is the first email in the Readers' Email section of the website, written over five years ago. It's way down on the bottom of the list, the most recent emails being at the top.
But, in any event, it is true that I didn't like "1984" when I was forced to read it in high school way back in 1968 when I was 18 years old. I am sure the parts that I found boring and hard to understand were the chapters where Winston is reading excerpts from "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism" and "The Princples of Newspeak" from the appendix at the back. When I admitted that I hadn't even finished the book in high school, those were the parts I had in mind.
However, I obviously read the rest of the book because subliminally its message had penetrated my psyche and twenty-some years later, when I recognized totalitarian behaviour at college, I was immediately reminded of "1984" and the "thought police" and was inspired to go re-read "1984".
It has been noted by Orwell's enemies that people who have read "Animal Farm" or "1984" are forever immunized against totalitarianism and will recognize it when they see it and therefore Orwell's enemies do what they can to distort both those books in movies they produce, hoping that people won't read and study the books. That's another reason why they pop in the video/cum DVD of "1984" in classrooms these days thus contaminating Orwell's message before it's truthfully presented by he himself in his own writing. See ANIMAL FARM A BAD MOVIE and 1984 A BAD MOVIE
And although I am on the record as saying I found "1984" hard to read and boring, I believe I have redeemed myself these past five years and into the present sixth by creating Orwell Today which is my way of apologising to Orwell for ever having said unflattering things about "1984".
All the best,
PS - I was at the tender age of 13 on that day in 1963 when JFK and Freedom Died and I too instantly remember WHERE I was and WHAT I was doing
I appreciate the "notoriety". It figures I would get it the "wrong way 'round". Most sites that I have visited usually have the oldest posts at the top and the newest at the bottom. Thank you immensely for straightening that out for me, and for giving me my "fifteen minutes of fame". I still need to begin re-reading 1984, but as fortune, and God, would have it, I just finished my most recent optional reading material just today, so tomorrow or Monday would be a good time to start my re-study of the late Mr. Blair's undying classic about life at the "end of the line", worldly speaking only, of course.
I respectfully remain yours truly,
Alexander Franklin Mutter, B.A., D.S.,b.,
Actually it's good that you brought the order of reading emails to my attention because I have now added a sentence in the Readers' Email section telling people that the most recent is at the top. Probably there are other people than yourself who assume the latest is on the bottom. On all my website pages I put the latest news on the top, like piling up flapjacks.
I look forward to hearing any insights you may have after your third reading of the late Mr. Blair's undying classic.
All the best,
You are too kind. I actually dusted off my Signet Classic 1984 Commemorative Edition just an hour ago. The foreword in this edition is by one of our favourite New Age, NWO Globalists, none other than Walter Cronkite. Naturally, it is concise, and well-written. He doesn't fool me anymore, though. Not for at least a decade or so. Anyway, thanks again for your consideration.
Saint Alex the Foolish, circa Third Millennium, a.D.
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~