I envisioned an imaginary Orwell placing his hand on my shoulder and saying
"I know how you feel".


I felt his contempt for what he calls 'orthodoxy'
transmitted through his written words
despite over a half-century worth of time between us.

To Orwell Today,


I am writing you today because I feel the strong need to share an Orwell-related story and having just stumbled upon your website entirely by accident (or perhaps not) and read a few of your pages I have a feeling you'll appreciate this story.

I just re-read 1984 for either the 3rd or 4th time in my life over the past weekend. Every time I read it, it resonates more deeply within me. For context I am a 31 year old computer programmer also from Canada. There is an anecdote for the reason why I read the novel again.

A few weekends ago I took part in the first protest of my life against vaccine passports in Ottawa. I was walking with the (enormous) crowd through the street, the crowd was making considerable noise as is the point of a protest. I was somewhat separated from the crowd on the other side of the street as I had no desire to be part of any obnoxious noise making, I just wanted to be present.

I passed closely to a man standing on the curb who was visibly upset, directing his ire towards the protesting crowd with middle fingers. He was yelling "F you, you hospital protestors!!!" or something like that, referring to the recent news events involving a handful of people who foolishly protested at hospitals here in Canada not long ago. Needless to say the protest had no plans whatsoever to go anywhere near a hospital, and that doing so would be entirely counterproductive for the demonstration's aims. Despite all that, I saw the man's brainwashed face contorted with rage and spewing hatred towards his fellow citizens exercising their constitutional right to peacefully protest in a (supposedly) democratic society, nowhere near a hospital.

It was a surreal moment. I was reminded of the Two Minutes of Hate. On top of that, I have lately felt increasing despair at the amount of people supporting these ridiculous draconian policies in Canada over the scary virus, some of them my friends. The worst example being the most staunch feminist I know of (this individual doing a PhD) making it publicly known through social media that she supports a vaccine passport: a hypocrisy so egregious ("my body my choice") that I cannot imagine it is internally justified in any other way than by making use of doublethink. This collectivized insanity has increasingly made me feel like one of the "lone lunatics". The novel kept entering my mind so over the past rainy weekend, I picked up my copy of 1984 and entered the brutal world of Oceania.

In part 1 chapter 5, I reached the passage that ends with:

"It was not the man's brain that was speaking, it was his larynx.
The stuff that was coming out of him consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense:
it was noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck."

When I read those words - and I am not exaggerating here - I envisioned an imaginary Orwell placing his hand on my shoulder and saying "I know how you feel". I felt his contempt for what he calls 'orthodoxy' transmitted through his written words despite over a half-century worth of time between us. All my life I have had somewhat strong negative feelings towards those who either cannot think for themselves or most especially those who choose not to think. As you know, perfectly intelligent people (the PhD individual mentioned above is far from dim) are more than capable of being dishonest with themselves; they allow or even encourage their biases to cloud their judgment; they avoid or dismiss out of hand any evidence that may challenge their beliefs; they adopt a morally superior attitude to and shame those with opinions different from their own; they never acknowledge their specific social conditions which contribute to their opinions (money, status, etc); you know who I am talking about. Orwell knew these people well too, and I can imagine they were far worse than anything I've seen given his time period, and these were the minds from which he constructed (discovered?) the notion of 'doublethink'.

That's why after I read what I consider to be the most horrific text ever produced, I actually felt reassured. That this is, in some sense, "normal", and that I am not the "lone lunatic".

Thanks for reading,
Gordon Freeman, October 2021

...conversation to be continued

watch Ottawa Freedom March, September 18, 2021




22.Doublethink & 28.Goodthink

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com