Retirement Update: 1984 revisited
This post was originally published on June 13, 2011
Welcome back friends. I haven't talked to you for a while and I think it is time to do some serious communication. Today is the day that marks exactly one month into full-time retirement for me. Now, I know that doesn't mean much to most people, but to a lot of people it does. Many of the baby boomers out there are wondering just what it is like to actually pull the plug. Well, that is exactly what I did on May 13, 2011.
Any regrets? Actually, none at all. I feel free and healthier and that is the main thing of course. I get up in the morning and there is no one to answer to except myself. If I want to sluff off and do absolutely nothing then that is what I do. But, as you may appreciate the mind is always active and it is looking for something to do. Fortunately for me, I have lots of things that I want to do.The harness races on Saturday remain as the the highlight of my week. It is fun going to the races and trying to beat the system as you can imagine. Can you really beat the system? Well, that depends where you are on the social ladder I suppose, or maybe it just depends on what your individual goals are. It is all about personality of course and that is the underlying factor in these matters.
Luckily, I don't mind doing yard work either or going to the dump for that matter. I love going to the dump as a matter of fact; it is one of those instant gratification kind of endeavours; like cutting the grass. Pretty basic stuff eh? Well, like I said in many of my posts, especially Dear Courier Diary, I am a very basic person. So, that means that good old physical labour and yard work can turn me on. And, it is good for your health too.
The other thing that I like to do is studying on the internet and just reading things and trying to inform myself about what is happening in the world. I guess it is like the folks who engage in gossip or even watch the soaps or just any kind of TV or whatever. It is what keep us amused and interested that is what it does. We all have our favourite past time things and our interests. And, if we didn't well, we would all just shrivel up and die.
But, the really big thing that I like to do is to try and figure out where my life fits in with the grand scheme of things. Remember my story about 1983 - and the girl? You can read about that true story right here: Friday October 7, 1983 Well, rest assured dear friends that this thing is still alive in my mind and I am trying to make the best of what now amounts to a very bad thing. Well, maybe not so bad. Important, might be another way to look at it. I mean, just think of the personalities involved in that story and try and fit them into my life and my history. It's a huge story for me and very meaningful as well. So, what is the really biggest thing that I did in the past 30 days or so? Well, I re-read the novel 1984 by George Orwell that is what I did. Actually, I upgraded my phone since the contract was up anyway and I got a smart phone. Neat phone and I am sure that many of you already own one of these babies. You can do your banking on these devices, take pictures and videos, and even bet the races and all kinds of things. But, what I did is to download a free pdf copy of 1984 and I just sat down and basically read the whole thing. read 1984 here Now, this is the first book that I probably every read as a young person and the stuff in there never went out of my mind let me tell you. In fact, this book is probably the most influential piece of literature that ever entered my mind - and it stuck like I say.
So, I read it again with vigour and I didn't want to miss a thing this time. So, many things I forgot let me tell you. But, the main characters were all there as big as life. Now, remember 1983 like I say because why I acted like I did back then probably has got a lot to do with this book. So, check out the link on the sidebar or the link above and get reading. You will not be disappointed I do not think. Anyway, I digress . Of course there is a girl in the book and her name is Julia. Winston Smith is the main character and there is even a guy in the book with a black moustache. Hahahahah. And, that is Big Brother. That's right, this is where the term Big Brother comes from. It is a totalitarian society that is what it is. And, Winston Smith is a rebel, just like me. So, do you see now why I am like I am? Winston bucks the system and is against authority. There is an ongoing threat to the system or enemy of the state named Emmanuel Goldstein. A Jewish name, so how do you like them apples? The real point is of course that this is the very same idea as our Osama bin Laden. The state needs someone to hate and to keep the population in line. It is a very tyrannical society and there are telescreens everywhere; all movements and speech is monitored. It is very much like a Nazi or Soviet Union controlled society. There are class divisions and everyone is expected to be loyal to the state and to hate the enemy. Remember the terms Ignorance is Strength and War is Peace?
This book was written in about 1949 and is very applicable to our day and age. If you are paying attention you will have noticed that the United States today is very much like the society that George Orwell was talking about. Now, he might have been describing the Soviet Union in particular, but I think if you examine the situation, the US is very much a totalitarian state that engages itself in continuous war. And, it did indeed create this enemy for us. In the sixties it was communism, but that has been transformed into the war against Islam as exemplified in Osama Bin Laden. I think this is a very easy comparison to make indeed.
Winston Smith, and his sweetheart Julia are both interested in overthrowing the system and Big Brother. They think that there is a better world out there. Both Winston and Julia are Party members, but not Inner Party members. There are in fact three classes in the society of Oceania, namely Inner Party members, regular Party members, and the Proles or the underclass. According to Winston all of history is organized in this way. And, further according to Winston, the Proles will never start a revolution, for that role is assigned to the middle classes or regular Party member in this case. The Proles ( and modern day Americans ) are only interested in survival and entertainment and do not concern themselves with matters of philosophy or the business of overthrowing despots or tyrants. And, that is why people like Smith and Julia are dangerous and must be dealt with. They are capable of understanding things and taking action to overthrow those with all of the power. But, in the world of Winston Smith there will be no regime change for Big Brother is all powerful.
If you take the time to sit down and read this book I think you will find a great many comparisons to modern day America. Winston Smith worked in the Ministry of Truth and his job was to change the facts of history and to indoctrinate the masses. And, so it is with the modern press in America; it is highly controlled and the only information that gets out is the information that the elites want to get out. As you may appreciate of course that puts the authorities and the alternative media on a collision course. For it is here where the Winston Smiths are going to pop out and try and overthrow the system. But, the system is strong as we well know. Not only do they control the media but the political figures and police and military are controlled as well. There is constant war and there is an identifiable enemy. And, if you are paying attention you will observe how the enemy is treated. And, in the US they have something called the Patriot Act as well. In the novel peoples' movements and thoughts were monitored like I said. They even had something called the Thought Police and ' thought crimes ' and they would get you in the end of course. Every house had a telescreen where speech and movement was monitored. Just how do you know dear friends if your TV or even your cell phone is not a modern telescreen? Something to think about eh?
Anyway, I would encourage everybody to read this book and to examine what is really in there. It is more that just the human being wanting to be like humans and having a love affair, it is much more in fact. It is about power and it is about philosophy and religion as well. The state wants to destroy everything that is meaningful to a human being. There is even something called a Junior Anti-Sex League of which Julia was a member. But, Julia was also a rebel and she played the game as long as she could. Children would turn their parents into the authorities as all loyal members of the state were spies. There is much in this book friends and it is all highly relevant to today's state of affairs in modern America. It is about power and the ability of those with that power to make humans non-human and to accept Big Brother and to love him. Even the rebels ended up loving Him before they were liquidated of course. The name of the game is control friends and to understand that is to understand everything that occurs around and within us.
Have a nice day. And, if you are a Canucks fan: Go Canucks Go? PS. I am not a hockey fan friends.